Have you ever heard the expression Bell of Mindfulness? Although this writer didn’t invent the expression, he recognizes it in his common language with regularity.
Many moons ago, my first inspiration of this meditative expression arrived when reading, At Hell’s Gate: A Soldier’s Journey From War to Peace, by an American Zen Buddhist Monk and Vietnam veteran named Claude Anshin Thomas.
Whatever your trauma, if you are a survivor and have put in the work, you know the journey from suffering to inner peace.
But when you work with that, it isn’t without its moments of struggling.
And if you are doing the work, you already know these journeys are not always linear and sometimes intersect and coexist with each other seemingly simultaneously.
Of course there is a tension of opposites, like when we were kids playing on the teeter totter.
Heaven and hell are inner states of consciousness that reflect back to us in the outer world.
Shamans called the current state of affairs a collective nightmare that we see playing out on the fiery Planet today.
Prophesies of a Golden Age are a co-creative New Dream. Remember that out of the ashes, the Phoenix Rises!
Truly, we all have what Taoists call the Chattering Monkey Mind, and this anxious mind can dominate our lives if we let it.
For example, chasing, clinging or indulging in darker thoughts (or any thoughts) are part of being human. It’s how we approach them that really matters.
Do we respond with mindful consultation with our Higher Self or do we react to the provocations of our lower self?
Do we resist and fight our shadowy thoughts or do we gently let them pass till an awakening of clearer thoughts emerge? We all have emotions and feelings that tend to accompany our thoughts. It is wise to take personal inventory of them through the light of loving compassion.
A New Moon in Virgo will happen on August 27, 2022. Feeling safe is connected to order, clarity and emotions right now. Perhaps there is a need to organize everything chaotic and disorganized.
Working Virgo energies in the positive tempers the self-critic with self-acceptance and finds self-expression of its soul purpose through service. In this way, you are more likely to take care of others if you are taking care of yourself. The inner critic is leveled by an internal state of acceptance. The situations are what they are. We might as well say yes to them on the inside, instead of meeting them with resistance (what we resists, persists!). From there, we can take corrective action if necessary.
Inner peace is a practical replacement for going to war with yourself (or others). It’s easier to replace with inner peace than it is to extinguish going to war. More inner peace replaces the likelihood of going to war.
Virgo stands on mutable ground to teach us that it is healthy to give consideration to being more tolerant and accepting about life’s imperfections. It is better to trust life and let it run its own way. Not everything must be according to our expectations or controlled. The Japanese spiritual tradition of Wabi Sabi reflects this way of being. Beauty exists in taking risks and making mistakes. It’s very Growth Mindset.
In many ways, we live in a Virgo world. It’s easy to get caught up in the do’s and don’t and should and should nots and consumed by fixing problems and perfectionism in the material realm. Chaos is especially hard on Virgo. But there is order in chaos and disorder is part of balance. Movement into the New Aquarian Age awakens possibilities that might be hidden or unseen to the predictable mindset or preoccupation with the headlines.
Energetically, Autumn is a good time of year to practice letting go. Tis a good mantra to Fall back on, if you’ll pardon the pun.
September’s Full Harvest Moon will peak on September 10, 2022. This Full Moon always happens closest to the Autumn Equinox on Thursday, September 22nd.
In Ojibwe, the Full Moon during this time of year is called the Falling Leaves Moon. Watch the leaves falling and observe their process of changing colors. Seasons change no matter what we are doing or not doing.
Furthermore, feminine and masculine energies are equal around the Fall Equinox. Meditation on balance of the yin and yang is in perfect equitable alignment with Nature at this time. Give this special consideration when you see people struggling with their identity issues, like sexuality and gender identifications. Appreciate the confusing times we are living in with open hearts and minds. In much the same way as race, disabilities, religion and ancestry, these are key Civil Rights issues to be mindful of in the here and now.
Reflections on the Harvest Moon, invites looking back at when our ancestors farmed the land before artificial light existed.
Back then, their work day depended on the natural cycles of the sun and the moon. They were more active and slept less during warmer weather and brighter days. Conversely, they were less active and slept more during shorter days, colder temperatures and darker nights.
This is the only Full Moon that rises at nearly the same time for multiple days, giving farmers several evenings of extra moonlight to finish their harvests before the arrival of fall frosts. Abundance is in the sky and on the ground. The harvest is in and yields its bounty.
Today, it is wise to pay attention and return to these natural rhythms and cycles. There is a time to do and a time to rest. Meaningful work is good for the soul. So is play.
As I sit here writing this post, this writer took a moment to hit the pause button to reflect on a meaningful, mundane transaction on today’s to do list. Specifically, I shuttled our teenager off to their final early morning summer cross training workout.
It’s not cool to call things like that day camp or playdates anymore (all too tempting). And you don’t call it practice, it’s now called training.
To wit: it’s hard not to hear George Carlin’s spirited questionable assertion, was it ever cool to call getting together with peers or friends playdates?
A vocational internship, community service hours, college tours, soccer season and the beginning of a new school year are all happening and on our household’s horizon. With a kid in school and dad who works in them, that’s what’s up. It’s a process many parents and caregivers have experienced before.
As parents, we’re trying to be mindful of our approach, because like any responsibility, it’s easy to fall prey to the doing, become robotic, and lose sight of the sacred moments along the way. That can happen in all aspects of life, if you’re not careful.
Speaking of transitions, the one constant is change along the trails of life. Are you noticing the subtle hints of Autumn are in the early August air?
These sense experiences mix alchemically with the microscopic, minority radiance of vibrant hues of leaves turning, whilst offering an early prequel to a backdrop to Nature’s theater. May we bear witness to everything old beginning anew again.
It won’t be long till the Equinoxes are here in later September, where light and dark are equal again, and peak foliage colors the tree lines again, if only for a brief moment in time. Ah, the yin and the yang at play!
Looking ahead, our days will get shorter until the darkest day of the year on the Winter Solstice in December. However, if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, Spring is springing, and it will be the Vernal Equinox at that time. Those days will get longer until sunlight peaks on their Summer Solstice.
For the rest of us in the living moment, a Full Moon is waxing and will fully reveal itself in the second week of August. Historically, Full Moons go by different names. One of the traditional names, as indicated by many of our ancestors, is the Full Sturgeon Moon.
These mighty freshwater fish still thrive in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain regions in the Middle of the Americas. Like turtles, sturgeons have been around at least as long as when dinosaurs roamed Mother Earth.
In much the same way as everyone else, these fish are at risk in today’s changing tides. And yet, these living fossils are still around. Moreover, sturgeons reflect the power of survivors, and as such, are symbolic of resiliency. Like the murky waters these fish stir up, we need to swim through them with resiliency in our tackle box, if you’ll pardon the pun.
But what is this resiliency we speak of? After nearly two decades of social work practice in Public Schools, it is a dream come true to see that we are paying more attention to building resiliency in school community settings.
It’s no secret that we humans come into this Earthbound experience with our own unique, prewired blueprints. While our core temperaments don’t change, our personalities are an evolving process over our life cycle.
Resiliency is something that we are equipped with, and have an aptitude for- some more than others. But we can all build resiliency, which has a positive ripple effect on each other.
Systemically, one way we can all develop our capacity for resiliency is to create and follow a self care routine. I’m a big fan of the Keep It Simple Sweetheart (KISS) model.
Like any healthy self-care routine, building resiliency starts with yourself and invites an intention and commitment to a daily routine of mindful attention.
For example, teaching more meditation, mindfulness and social emotional learning (SEL) as part of the school curriculum supports resiliency and facilitates the challenging process of learning how to be human.
Strategies like focusing on peaceful, calming thoughts, positive self talk, mindful belly breathing, relaxing our judgments and learning to be gentle on ourselves are healthy ways to build an internal state of resiliency and harmonize with our environment. Of course drinking mostly water, emphasizing consumption of plants and being more meat minimalist doesn’t hurt.
Remember that saying yes to self care means that you are saying yes to your own mental health and well being. The rising tide of Inner Peace awakening increases as the more of us become living role models of these behavioral changes. Further, the more we make waves in this dimensional shift, we will collectively see ourselves becoming the change we want to see in the world.
Here is a practical self care/SEL demonstration below in the form of the The Mirror of the Mind meditation. Regular practice of this powerful strategy will support sound mental health and well being in your daily life:
Aries is the first sign on the Zodiac. From a Western Astrological perspective, Aries reflects the energies of both the new beginnings of a new year, as well as a New Moon on April 1, 2022. Feelings of uncertainty make it tempting to run the hurry up offense by trying to solve problems faster than is natural. Do not rush as if there was a deadline. It is wise for the Ram to try to slow down their steps so that they can decide what they want to do and proceed at their own chosen speed. In the heat of the moment, remember the cool, wintry transitional shoreline tides of Pisces to take a deep breath, relax and go with the flow.May this be a gentle letting go of the heavy blanket of Winter, including any judgements you have been carrying in your backpack.The mystical, soulful travels of other dimensions are as important as the practicality of knowing how to live on this Earth.We all go through ages and stages in our life cycles. As humans, we all get insecure and suffer. We have neglected and even discounted our spirits. Vanity and glorifying youth culture can become a barrier to embracing our cosmetic imperfections. No, we can’t turn back the clock. With meditation, the aging process can be slowed down and even reversed. But meditation isn’t a cure nor is it a cosmetic approach. Developing a regular meditation practice is an inside-out approach to nurture our spirits (as well as our bodies and minds) that can have a meaningful and sustainable impact on our everyday lives. As we change the way we look at ourselves in the mirror of the mind, the way we look in the mirror changes.
Aries the Ram brings the element of fire and is a life force to be reckoned with because they can be fiercely deliberate in their approach. Aries is the part of our personality that embodies the power of our will, which is masculine or yang. Keep in mind that all women have masculine energy in them, while all men have feminine energy in them. So as the yin and yang, these energies flow within all of us and have a natural desire to be expressed. The Billy Joel classic song, My Life, captures the self determination of Aries to do whatever it wants. An intentional selection of crisis reflects the mountains we choose to climb. This writer remembers tapping into his inner ram during some radical hiking adventures, where being present with secure footing and listening to the elements could literally mean the difference between avoiding serious injury, or even life or death on any given moment. There were times that he lost his way, ran out of water and had to pull from resources that he didn’t even know were there. But the spirit of Aries is an intense and direct warrior and they will be sure to bring fire to their target. It won’t be a question of how to avoid stress because Aries attract stress like a magnet. The question is what form will it take. It’s as if the Aries positive self talk mantra asserts: pick your battles, as its signpost. Energy is energy. It’s what we do with it that counts and our approach that matters.We do not need to draw our swords or go to war with each other.Nobody likes feeling like they’ve been thrown under the bus or ambushed in relationship with each other. Remember that anger is the bodyguard of our fears, which explains why most, if not all emotional reactions come from a place of anxiety. Like the yin and yang, order and chaos are always at play with each other.
Check out this Civil Rights oriented video that captures the intersection between the powerful energies of Aries and feminine youth poetry in motion:
A Full Pink Moon, which gets its name from vegetation known as moss pink, arrives on April 16. The Cree Indigenous People called this Full Moon the Frog Moon. It is also known as the Paschal Full Moon because it is the first Full Moon of Spring. Easter is always celebrated on the Sunday after the first Full Moon of Spring, following the Spring Equinox, which was on March 20. This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 17th. Like humans, flora and fauna; traditions have been mixing since creation. The light rises till its climax on the Summer Solstice on June 21, 2022. After that, the sunlight will slowly start waning until light and dark energies are equal again on the Autumn Equinox in September.
Artwork by Barbara Merlotti
When Frog sings in the torrential downpours of rain falling onto your Being . . .
No need to let it dampen your spirits!
Soak up the cleansing shower of Heavenly tears
by letting yourself bathe in a colorful
rainbow that shines on your golden soul.
What does Frog have to say to you about cleaning up
your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors?
Is there something you need to release or let go of?
How are you weathering the spirits of your daily routine?
A Full Pink Moon reflects an early arrival of spring vegetation in our outer world.
Let Frog guide you into an internal spring cleaning.
Clean, purify, detox and release any dirty, stagnant energies
that muddy the waters your soul wants to set free.
The winds of change are in the air!
Here we are hopping further along into Spring . . .
Frog showers us with purifying songs of April rains!
We branch out of a wintery coffin after a soulful energetic spring cleaning.
Rainbows reflect colorful flowers blossoming with clean care;
A Full Pink Moon signals an early arrival spring of flowers spreading outside –
Abundance and fertility are in the air!
Time to clear away the internal clutter . . .
Are you remembering to take deep, cleansing breaths to stay grounded?
Might as well transform the way we hop through life.
Call on the positive vibrations to reverberate in your soul’s acoustics.
Metamorphosis abounds as May flowers whisper in the winds of change.
Frog awakens magical elemental forces of water and land;
What needs to be released from your mind-body-spirit?
Picture a Frog to help you develop a deeper respect for boundaries.
Visualize transformative travels through powerful conductors of water and sound;
Your creative powers want to spring forth!
Now is the time to let go of stale, stuck energies
that want to uproot your soul’s impetus to evolve and grow!
Showers in April are a good reminder that it is time a good Spring clean-up. Time for cleansing, purification, detoxification and release. Nature reflects our inner world for us to examine. The beauty of a rainbow could not exist without the storm that preceded it. It’s when we feel lost and alone that a rainbow appears that brightens our spirits. Otherwise, we would not be able to differentiate a dark sky from a clear day. From a spiritual perspective, we are living in a time of transition, where there is the death of an old world and rebirth of a New Earth. We are literally taking our first quantum leap onto the lily pad of the Aquarian Age. In this process, we need to let go of divisive us and them, stale, boxed in thinking, old ways of being sacrificial lambs, dog eat dog, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, male dominating female, fear of feminine power and unbalance of power by subjugating Black Indigenous People of Color and Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer people. The awakening New Age of Aquarius is a time where we can find our way in our own uniqueness by aligning who we are as individuals that mixes with group consciousness. Diversity within Unity. We are moving into a time period where the ego does not dominate the playing field anymore. It is about us becoming what is in tune with our Higher Selves or our Better Angels, as President Lincoln said. We can be aligned in our heads and our hearts with each other and come from a place of authentic soulful recognition. Yes, we have our prewired and learned fears, negative self talk and voices of trauma. But we don’t have to be seduced or submerged by them. Sitting with the Lotus flower out in Nature will help show you the way by becoming the change you want to see in the world.Observe this transformative process unfolding within yourself.
We will experience a New Moon in Pisces on Wednesday March 2nd, 2022. This time reflects heightened sensitivities and perceptions of our surroundings. Be mindful of feelings of insecurity, being passive and following a wait and see approach to life. With Pisces, soul travel is as natural as escapism lurking in the shadows because upstream and downstream personalities are part of our identities. It is wise not to get lost in the undertow of tempting fate. Stay engaged in creative and spiritual blueprints, and flow with powerful Pisces imaginative processes.
Pisces has an understanding of consciousness itself. A positive self talk mantra worth examining is that we are aware that we are aware. In its deeper and higher truth, meditation should be a goal-less discipline. But that doesn’t mean that we avoid setting goals. It just means that we are becoming spiritual watchers in the waves of letting go of outcomes. The ebb and flow of life’s attachments are a real part of the human experience. As part of our multidimensional reality, we are luminous, formless, energetic identities that are alive within our physical bodies. The Kingdom of Heaven is what Christ Consciousness spoke of through in his human form, otherwise known as Jesus. Similarly, Buddhist Psychology says that we have a say in how we experience beyond the networks we are all programmed with. Our souls are reflections of Creator’s luminous image, and as such, we are creative beings with infinite imaginative faculties. Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge. We can use our imaginations in meditation to become the change we want to see in the world, like Ghandi said.The prophecies of old were foreshadowing the New Aquarian Age we are transitioning into now.
A Full Worm Moon illuminates the sky on Friday, March 18, 2022. Like all Full Moons, this one goes by many traditional names, including the Eagle Moon by the Algonquin, the Goose Moon by the Cree, and the Sugar Moon by the Ojibwe Indigenous peoples. This moon marks the time of year when the sap of sugar maples starts to flow, and these trees are tapped in late winter to gather buckets of sap to transform into maple syrup. Traditional Full Moon names reflect the spirit of the season, such as when animals appear or reappear on the lands they inhabit. Humanity needs to realign with their spirited energies, as well as the spiritual energies of Nature. Mother Earth is a living organism. We are part of Her and She is part of us. We are all part of a cosmic connective web of consciousness.
Artwork by Barbara Merlotti
When a Whale of a tide rolls in and the shifting seas come crashing in
Take a deep breath and let it sink into your belly . . .
Hit the pause button, reset and
listen to your drumming heartbeat.
Tap into your inner oceans of empathy and compassion for others.
What does whale have to say to your heart?
Are you hearing the hearts of what others are saying to you?
A Full Worm Moon signals robin’s return.
Whale reminds us that our soul purpose evolves with the
shifting connective tides of our planetary consciousness.
Spring Equinox celebrates equal light and dark days in Nature.
We look forward to peak light on Summer Solstice in June.
Water symbolizes creativity.
Dive into the depths of the unchartered seas of your soul
to retrieve the creative powers of your human element.
With Whale, we dive into archives of our planetary consciousness . . .
Their energy breathes an air of discovery into waters of our soul purpose
During our swim here on Mother Earth.
Meditation on Whale invites us to hear the universal heartbeat of
Mother Earth’s oceanic sea of consciousness.
Spring Equinox blossoms a fleeting energetic balance of light and dark . . .
We move into a time when feminine yin begins to wane as masculine yang waxes on –
Sunlight climbs to its summit on the Summer Solstice;
Arriving in later June in the Northern Hemisphere
The converse is true to our friends in the Southern Hemisphere –
It is their Autumn Equinox there.
Light and dark energies are equal but their darkness grows in power;
Climaxing on their Winter Solstice . . .
Where darkest day of the year precipitates a slow resurrection of light.
A Full Worm Moon brings the arrival of the robin –
Signifying that Spring has sprung!
Our ancestors identified this Full Moon as the last of winter –
What better medicine to remedy March Madness!
Whales are dedicated to their family.
Their sonar is akin to an acute form of empathy.
In the sense that we can learn to listen in;
and hear subtle stirrings inside with relationship to self and others.
This process increases our sensitivity.
Drinking in deep and relaxed belly breathing.
Is what’s on tap for a clear walking meditation . . .
May we all be spring fed lakes that leave behind
Clean water for others to follow in our wake.
Equinoxes are a good time to reflect on getting in touch with our masculine and feminine energies that coexist within our own selves and our planet. In much the same way as our planet has hemispheres, so do our brains. We are living in a time where we need to wake up to balance by dismantling, healing and unifying the illusion of separation. The sun does not dominate the moon. Rather, they both do their part to sustain homeostasis. Nor does male need to subjugate female. Without the creative energy of feminine power, none of us would be here. Energetic equanimity will help us transition more gracefully into an era of a co-creative we consciousness. Instead of a divisive us and them mentality, we can move deeper into a time when we realize that we all need to work together as uniquely diverse expressions of divine oneness. We need to embrace the tension of opposites and relax into that in our modern world. Yin and Yang are always in flux and Nature reflects that to us. Spiritually, the energy of Whale represents an awakening of our soul purpose. March is a time of seasonal transition between the winter and spring. Ideally, we are more introspective and inward during the darker months of winter. But when spring arrives, our budding inner work may blossom outward in a more yang-oriented and external fashion.
Our ancestors told stories about whales carrying the consciousness of our planet, like a universal library. Some people have had the good fortune to swim with whales in their natural environment. I’ll never forget the first time I went whale watching on a school field trip in Cape Cod, Massachusettes. Growing up in Great Lakes region in the Mid-West, you had to travel far to experience such a thing. But with meditation, we can virtually light up the same centers in our brains, and perceive the tidings that whales bring into our sea of consciousness. Picture Whale and take the emotional plunge to bring back the depths of their teachings.
Equinoxes are times of energetic balance on our planet. In that, we can see Nature’s outward reflection of where we are moving on the inside. Given that, we are given an opportunity to work with natural forces to nurture the energies going on in our being. Like the Yin and Yang, masculine and feminine energies are always in flux, yet paradoxically seeking homeostasis. Even when darkness abounds, there is light at the end of the tunnel, just as when the sun lights up a room, there are dark corners out of sight. Yet we know they are all there. God is everywhere, the alpha and the omega, light and dark, masculine and feminine. That is the image we were created in.
Psychic ability is a natural part of our human superpowers. Some say that empathy is the highestform of psychic ability. Given that we need to build a lot more empathy on our planet, we might as well meditate on the collective wisdom of whale to do that. Empathy is like anything else – some of us are born with more or less of it than others. For some, it has to be learned intellectually, and then from there might take root in the heart. For others, it is a natural, heart-centered place to be. Regardless, every moment of being human is an opportunity to remember empathy as a way of life. You don’t condone or excuse someone’s bad behavior with empathy. You just show them you care about their plight regardless of how they got there, and are coming from a place love, and trying to understand. Be forewarned that this exercise requires moving beyond judgments and assumptions.
Today’s invasion of the Ukraine, is yet another tragic and unjust example of the consequential imperialism of the military-industrial complex. Can you imagine waking up to tanks, bombs and missiles in your own backyard?Concentrate the spotlight of mindfulness from your own head and your heart.Beam this orb within and onto the outer world around you, and beyond to help free your own suffering as well as the suffering of others around the planet and the outer rims of the expanding Universe. Remembering to breathe is a simple way to come back down into your soul, and into the present moment. This is where empathy lives.And it is home.
Thanksgiving gives us time to pause and reflect on the spirit of the season, count our blessings, and meditate on gratitude. As a fellow human, I feel especially thankful for our home, Mother Earth. At times, I have taken Her for granted and I am sorry for it. If it wasn’t for Her presence in our lives, none of us would be here. And if I hadn’t been given the gift of Her presence in my life, my experience here would have been very different, and not as enriching to say the least.
Contemplation on how my life would be different in Earth’s absence yields a plentiful harvest of gain in my appreciation for Her bounty. It also deepens my feelings of gratitude for this lifetime living on this planet. As spiritual beings having human experiences, we are expanding souls so it is natural to desire abundance in its variety of forms. But we miss the boat when we forget to acknowledge our blessings and gratitude for what is.
How might your life be different if Earth had never entered into your lives, or had certain people, places or things not entered into your experiences?
I’ll admit it, I have my moments of heaviness at times. Even though I have been looked upon as a brother from another planet, like the rest of you, I have my fears and worries. It’s so easy to time travel to the past or back to the future, and get lost in those projections. How does one not get stuck in the intersections between the voices of trauma, resentful bitterness, rose colored glasses or nostalgia? Our suffering is in the clinging for one state over another. We wish this misery would be over or this happiness would never end.
Thanksgiving is no exception, as it is a holiday that serves up a feast of mixed messages and conflictual emotional memories. Personally, Thanksgiving is my favorite mainstream holiday. But I don’t deify or demonize the Pilgrims or minimize, gloss over the genocide of Indigenous people, ignore the existence of this land before the current occupation, nor the slavery that existed then or the other forms of oppression that exist today. An authentic look at this holiday and still feeling gratitude for its totality is a lot to digest, and get be both bitter and sweet to the taste, depending on your attitude.
Admittedly, I welcome the relatively less emphasized market driven consumerism of Thanksgiving – at least compared to some others. Specifically, I’m learning to tame my own gluttony at the annual feast without defiance. Every year I walk away from the table pleasantly full even after eating less than the year before. It has taken me a long time to realize that softening the will is not about going hungry or selling out. Thankfully, I’m turning a corner on that front.
Beyond its polarities, Thanksgiving is about the intrinsic spiritual alchemy of being mindful of having an attitude of gratitude for what is and the gift of presence. When we are in this place, we win on the inside and everyone one around us is impacted in a positive light. And yet, this real realm of personal discovery is not without a new world of anxiety because anxiety is a fact of life. When I think of Thanksgiving and Turkey, I think about the spirit of shared blessings that feathers a ripple effect of reciprocity.
In my own experiences with anxiety, I would be lying if I denied that they sometimes ruffle my feathers. These days, my own OCD experiences have evolved (or devolved depending on your perspective ) into being mindful of my breath, and cracking puns – sometimes at oft color times of heightened nervous woodland creature energy. In fact, the puns fall quite autumnatically like acorns during this time of year or rise like the tides on Full Moons especially. Like most people, it’s pretty impossible to not find myself preoccupied with much ado about nothing, if only fleetingly, in the theatre of life. The trick is to not hang out too long in that space or chase thoughts with overly indulgent reactions.
For certain, you could charge me with being guilty of a coyote like subtle (or not so subtle) wry grin on my face, even when I should mirror a more serious affect or otherwise apropos facial expression to match the situation at hand. It’s hard not to be provocative when you are naturally wired for having a propensity for the theatrics or know when to say when during the interplay between wisdom and folly. Tricks that were once treats no longer work anymore. Some call it growing up, while others say they’re younger than that now. Awakening is a process, as is supporting the awakening of others.
Truth is, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between where con artistry begins and true wizardry ends – whether it’s working with adolescent girls or my own observational self-examination. But that’s OK, communication with Blue Jay reveals a general sense of acceptance and non-judgement in this area of personal growth. Besides, the royal road to authenticity is paved with fool’s gold in footsteps that have a tendency to fake it till you make it. Walking the line isn’t about being perfect. It’s about floundering, making mistakes and failure. These are elements of Growth Mindset. Nature is such a powerful teacher. That’s why psychologists agree that the best laboratory is the naturalistic environment. May we embrace our imperfections.
These days, it can be more challenging for the Ordinary Joe not to get sucked into his own alternate realities, escapism, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders or the dramas of others. The dying stages of the systemic patriarchy makes it hard not to do that. You all know about the impact of FOMO, peer pressure, social media profiling, and the garden variety of distractions. Today’s outer distractions have more bells and whistles. But at the end of the day, we have the power to turn the background noise into bells of mindfulness.
Remember that the world is a reflection of art imitating reality. Today, it’s probably easier to play the blame game, considering the myriad of conveniently inconvenient excuses flitting out and about in this world of 10,000 things. We are conditioned to point our fingers at targets of our own suffering. Alas, we shop around at those deeply engrained establishments, fixed ideas notwithstanding!
Learning to be human has never been easy. We all need good strategies.
But in this pandemic, have we forgotten how to be human in the social environment?
Speaking of Target, if you find yourself in a situation where there isn’t a prepackaged box readily available on the shelf, is this an apparent invitation for throwing a public temper tantrum, having a panic attack over the missing object of affection, serial text people to come to your rescue, or perhaps indulging in a private negative self talk episode?
Might these moments otherwise be worth self reflecting on as an attachment to a desired outcome, and could instead become a playground for spiritual growth?
Are they repetitive, unconscious behavioral traps or an awakened state of awareness that are just waiting to come out and play in the sunlight?
The reality is that we have to work at our wellbeing, mental health and social emotional learning. Yeah, you can argue that you have the right to be rude to a grocery store worker because they mixed up your items and placed them in the wrong bags, cite that you are a paying customer, and therefore justified in the attitudinal feast you served up to the grocer. However, that is an entitled position that eats a hearty plate of suffering by being part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Being entitled is a form of victim consciousness. You lose from that perspective because it is a recipe for more suffering.
For example, just look at the profiteering of this nuance in the popular culture and so called alternative media forms. There’s a romantic libertarian defund the police sentiment, a welfare state of dirty energy, liberal greed in the marketplace and conservative fighting over the people’s right to quality healthcare, which includes preventative care, mental health and substance abuse/addictions treatment. There’s a constant slugfest between philosophical differences or belief systems. Whether it’s Critical Race Theory or Civil Rights Team – some people are triggered by the CRT acronym. Take the fight out of it folks. Give inner peace a chance. There is enough and we can all win.
Instead of challenging, connect. We need connection now more than ever on our Planet today. It would be wonderful if Divine Intervention happens. I do believe a faction of extraterrestrial beings and highly spiritually evolved multidimensional beings are concerned about our survival and are doing their part to support our transformation, and probably planning something more exponential as we speak. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the powers that be are plotting and scheming to counter that with commercials that attempt to hoodwink us into buying into a feigned invasion that fronts as an alien takeover. But in reality, the Military-Industrial Complex’s potential smoke and mirrors campaign will likely be orchestrated and manufactured from our own advanced engineering of foreign technology. We shall see.
What can each of us do in the meantime?
What kind of energy do we want to attract?
Clean energy on the inside is a parallel process to clean energy on the outside. Developing a meditation practice helps bring equanimity into your soul and the collective soul respectively. If you don’t see empathy in the world around you, become the change of empathy you want to see in the world by seeing it in your mind and feeling it in your heart. See it in yourself and see it in others, especially in your so called enemies. Some have to work harder at this than others.
Connect with the animals, nature and your fellow humans. Connect with you Higher Self. Connect with Spirit. Connect with your Spirit Guides. They all want to connect with you, and we all need connection.
We humans cannot afford to take each other for granted anymore or view ourselves as separate from each another. The only real way out of our suffering is through a meditative mindful way of life. It is only through this inner work that we can heal our soul wounds that manifest in our outer world. At the end of the day, everything else is just cosmetic. Easier said than done.
Awareness is the first step. We have to acknowledge whatever it is that needs to change by starting with ourselves. That takes courage because, in doing so, you will experience what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. Through meditation, we can learn to sit with the tension of opposites, or the interplay between what we call preferred and non-preferred experiences.
Remember, we are all mirrors for each other and the signs are there for you to see if you take notice. I have a coworker friend that just bought a new sweatshirt that says, “HEAVILY MEDITATED.” That’s a nice playful, light-hearted mantra to sport on an article of clothing.
Together, may we learn to live in the present moment, regardless of how unknown or uncertain it is. Besides, there are no guarantees, so we might as well come down into our souls and take up residence in the here and now. May we give thanks for that.
October ends with the modern holiday of Halloween, which traces its roots to the Samhain. The Samhain marks the approximate mid-point between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. Our days are getting darker and we are turning more yin-ward. Our ancestors honored this spirited time by recognizing the “thinning of the veils” between the physical and spirit realms. As such, it is an especially good time to connect with our loved ones that have passed on into the spirit realm. There is so much help in the spirit realm if only we ask. Keep a picture or memorable item of power that reminds you of your beloved on an alter and meditate on that to connect with their energy.
In the beginning of November, we welcome the traditional All Saints Day, All Souls Day and the Day of the Dead and a Scorpio New Moon on the Fourth. Even today, maskwearing remains a powerful spiritual practice that invokes portals into other dimensions and alternate realities, and can also be a good exercise in empathy through perception of other viewpoints.
A Beaver Full Moon rises on Friday, November 19th, 2021. Our ancestors honored this Full Moon by recognizing this time when beavers finished their winter preparations and took shelter into their lodges. Civil Rights calendar highlights include National Native American Heritage Month, Solidarity Week, Diwali, Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20th, Thanksgiving, and the beginning of Hanukkah at the tail end of the month.Reflect on how we are all equally part of oneness and yet we are diverse expressions of Spirit.Also, the winds of a powerful astrological Eclipse season are blowing in, which will trigger the status quo and further rattle the cages of our global community. Specifically, there will be a Lunar Eclipse on the Full Moon this month and a Solar Eclipse on the New Moon on December 4th. Keep in mind that the Universal Pillars of Love and Truth are what really hold things together, not the ego made structures that appear to run the show. The shake ups are meant to move us into alignment with that. Remember that what we resist will only persist and lead to more pronounced suffering.Might as well say yes to the present moment and be mindful of the home of your breath.
Artwork by Barbara Merlotti
A Full Beaver Moon awakens an attitude of gratitude for shared blessings.
Picture a Turkey to give you the spiritual power you need to
ward off any negative energies that want to suck off your aura.
As you wake up your Third Eye,
you become a more powerful spiritual watcher in your day-to-day operations.
Remember to think in moments, and just be with them,
one breath, one step, one moment at a time.
The time is now for feasting on an attitude of gratitude
Be thankful for everything that comes your way, even if it
doesn’t feather your ripple!
Don’t let that bum vibe hold back your spirit.
Picture a Turkey to fluff your energy field.
Are you feeling thankful for your blessings?
Or are you focusing on what you do not have, but wish that you did?
Turkey guides us into the shared space of gratitude and infinite blessings –
Even if they are notorious for stealing their fellow nervous woodland creature
squirrel friend’s winter stockpiles of food storage . . .
In this way, Nature holds up a mirror to look at the power of leveling impulses.
Let us give back to our Mother Earth –
As a way of saying thank you for the abundance She has provided us.
Picture a Turkey to ward off any negative energies that might be
sucking on your energy field and leaving you feeling drained.
A Full Beaver Moon reminds us of a time when peak beaver activity
inspired our ancestors to set traps before swamps froze.
We all need enough fur to keep our bodies warm to survive the cold winter months.
In that industry, Turkey helps our souls warm up to the idea of
feeding ourselves a clean spiritual diet.
We are waking up to the birth of a New Age and Paradigm.
We are lifting the veil from our Third Eye that has been
sleeping in a hypnotic trance for a long time.
A critical mass of feminine energy is gaining power in numbers . . .
Trying to put the brakes on this yin bound train will only delay our gratification –
Met with predictive futile resistance
Equal access to resources is an unfolding convergence of harmony again –
Of sustainable living for our planetary consciousness and beyond.
Imagine all of us sharing our resources and gaining equal access to the greater good. We know that we have been well-trained to divide and conquer and view ourselves as separate from one another. In that, we have become good at making judgements about each other as being either superior or inferior by sizing one another up. But in today’s tumultuous times, we have been given a clear view of perspective taking. A culture of egalitarianism is being born, albeit not without the labor pains. While the pain is inevitable, suffering is a choice. The freedom to choose whether or not we will continue to suffer is a powerful choice. Waking up to finding a way out of the suffering is in our best interest as a collective consciousness. Abundance is a real possibility. We will know when a critical mass is here when enough of us choose to believe it and see the change reflected in a New World as it is revealed before our eyes.May any benefit from this practice help relieve my own suffering. As well as the suffering of all beings. Today my body, mind, emotions, my speech actions and deeds, will embody Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity. May all Beings Be Free!
September’s Full Harvest Moon reaches its peak on Monday, September 20, 2021. But before that, a New Moon in Virgo arrives on September 6. New Moons always carry the energy of new beginnings, novel ways of perspective taking, and allurement into new adventures. Admittedly, Summer’s festive energy can hard to say goodbye to. Like any change in seasons, transitions are not always easy to navigate. Fall is a good time to balance getting back to school, back to business, and manage busy schedules.Squirrels seem to embody Virgo energy in the way they anxiously and intensely sniff out disorder, but not without balancing doings with fun through imitation and play.
September is a unique month because it is commonly referred to as either a Harvest Moon or Corn Moon. Because this Full Moon is nearest to the Autumn Equinox on September 22, it is called the Harvest Moon. In Ojibwe, it is called the Falling Leaves Moon. Our ancestors noticed that the moonrise would come soon after sunset, so the abundance of natural bright moonlight allowed for plentiful harvesting of summer crops.
The Fall Equinox is Nature’s way of reflecting equality between the energies of masculine/feminine, light/dark, yin/yang. After that, our clocks turn yin-ward as our days begin to get darker till we hit the Winter Solstice, the darkest day in the Northern Hemisphere on Tuesday, December 21. In the Southern Hemisphere, it will be the Spring Equinox in September, and then Summer Solstice in December. Energetically, Equinoxes and Solstices are good times to entertain opposites, meditate on wholeness and relax on polarities in your consciousness.
Artwork by Barbara Merlotti
A Full Harvest Moon yields wisdom that it is nuts to keep doing the same thing over and over . . .
And expect different results.
Now is the time to get back to school, back to business, get organized and prepare for a rainy day fund.
Autumn Equinox is Nature’s way of showing us equality between masculine and feminine energies,
both within our beings and in the world around us.
After that, dark yin forces wax on until they climax on the Winter Solstice in December.
When you think you’re out of supplies, losing your acorns and
feeling like your being driven nuts;
Picture a Squirrel to help you
prepare for back to school assignments projects, tasks
and other responsibilities.
What are you doing to get ready for going back to school?
Are you working with your parents, grandparents,
guardians, coaches, teachers, family members or other caregivers to help make
a successful change in your daily schedule?
Squirrel guides us into the realm of getting back to school and down to business . . .
While looking at the weather forecast ahead,
we are preparing for a winter storage or a time when resources are less plentiful.
Picture sobering up, getting organized and cross-referencing your planner
so that busy fall schedules will not drive you mad!
Squirrels are a good reminder that solid mental health looks like
the realization that doing the same thing over and expecting different results –
is likely to drive you nuts!
Autumn Equinox reminds us of the transitory balance of light and dark energies . . .
Yin (Feminine) and Yang (Masculine)
Are dancing together in equal dance-step.
In the Northern Hemisphere, we are moving further into the dark nights of our souls
to reach its zenith on the Winter Solstice in later December.
On the opposite side of the same coin –
Our friends in the Southern hemisphere know a similar energetic balanceby
awakening to a Vernal Equinox in their Spring.
They will see the sunlight expands as darkness contracts
Reaching its climax on the Summer Solstice.
At this time, Nature reflects a most sweet and satisfying sensual equanimity . . .
If only fleetingly and transient
Fall and Spring Equinoxes are similar in the sense that masculine and feminine energies are in balance and reflected that way in Nature. Given that we are part of Nature, these are good times of year to meditate on these energies fluctuating together in natural equality both intrinsically and outwardly. This is an especially good time of year to marvel at the co-creative universal impetus for an egalitarian New World. Of course the building blocks of this new way of living on this Earth starts with you! The light of masculine-yang is the opposite side of the same coin as the dark of feminine-yin. We cannot get to the light unless we traverse the dark. Conversely, we cannot know the dark unless we walk in the light. Yang is expressive and outward in its movement. Yin, on the other hand is receptive and inward in its expression. Those of us in the Northern hemisphere can stand to realize that our friends in the South are experiencing energetic alignment in much the same way we are, absent they will be moving in a masculine-yang-light direction, whereas those of us in the North are moving in a feminine-yin-dark direction. If you prefer the dark and it is the opposite time of year where you live – the good news is that you have something to look forward to. In the meantime, we might as well find a way to accept, appreciate and even embrace the opposite of our energetic preference.
May the sign of a male deer’s antlers point you into a doe’s yin-ward, gentle allurement into new adventures. Pay purposeful attention to the seasonal synchronicities that July opens up in your consciousness . . .
August is just around the corner. Even in its notorious ‘dog days’, if you look carefully, you’ll see early evidence of the subtleties of Autumn arriving. Perhaps an early fallen leaf, or another hint of Fall in the air.
Soon it will be back to school and back to business. Light and dark will be equal again on Wednesday, September 22nd.
Artwork by Barbara Merlotti
A Full Buck Moon wakens the return of the serpent to respond to the poisonous venom with medicinal healing energy of Snake. Out of the ashes, a Phoenix Rises. Growing pains are only an inevitable and natural part of life. But the stories you project onto your pain only adds more scar tissue to your wounds. Snake can help show you how to shed your old self and change the snake holes of your soul’s path.
What might look like a poisonous snake, could become the new skin of a healing tonic in your Life. Picture a Snake to see through the smokescreen of opinions that others might have about you, and slither into the truth of your own, unique identity. Are you sick from eating something bad for you? How are you feeling after getting a good night’s sleep, eating mostly fruits, plants, whole foods, spending time unplugged, and playing outside?
This month, we get in touch with our reptilian kin . . .
We are inspired to shed our old skins!
A Full Buck Moon arrives with the growth of new deer antlers
sprouting out of the foreheads of male deer.
As such, we transform the toxicity of venomous snake-bites
into an alchemy of soulful healing.
Might as well breathe in Divine air in the form of crystalline love-light!
Stoking the fire burning within . . .
A passing Summer Solstice,
Gently nudges us closer to feminine yin.
Meditation on Snake awakens medicinal transformation . . .
The time is now for heartfelt connections.
But don’t forget to mind your head!
Disasters leave a crematorium of ashes smoldering underground;
igniting new trees to leave underground darkness and branch out into the light.
Pain and suffering are hellish tragedies of Life . . .
Sometimes it’s hard not to feel derailed when riding along subways of unwanted emotions.
A sacred marriage between energetic masculine and feminine kin;
Awakens magical rebirths by shedding dead skin.
We live in a world full of toxicity. We are constantly being bombarded by lots of energies that leave us feeling depleted. Whether its heavy metals in our bodies, pollution, electromagnetic frequencies, radiation, a shrinking ozone layer, drugs, etc. – there are so many ways to bring us down or perk us up. But in spite of being bitten by these garden variety of venoms, there is so much help waiting to slither in from the spirit realm. All we have to do is ask. Just imagine the possibilities if every one of us started to do this from a clean place in our hearts – without any expectation of getting something in return. It will come about and reflect in our outer world when enough of us shed our old skins and open up to becoming something new. In this way, we will leave behind a clean energetic footprint for others to follow by being a role model. It’s like flagging a path for others to follow toward the trail head, to use a hiking metaphor. The trick is to not get stuck in our primitive lizard brain, or reptilian brain. It is easy to become trapped in survival mode – robotic and lost in the everyday busyness of life. But the same systems that oppress can liberate. It is encouraging to know that alternative energy really does start with you. We can all incorporate a meditative way of living by simply becoming mindful of our breathing, picturing calming and peaceful thoughts, expecting synchronicity and focusing on the positive. Enacting a walking meditation, if you will, really does change our experience with reality and energizes our bodies. This process of transformation is contagious and literally becomes your new normal.
May the animal spirited grace of Swan inspire you to paddle with the current instead of fighting against the rapids of everyday life. Notice the flow of grand moments, and the intersection between the extraordinary in the ordinary, as well as the perfection within the imperfection. If only we can gently allow ourselves to let it go instead of trying to grasp onto it, whatever it is.
Sometimes, all you can do is sprawl out and surrender to the will of the Universe, and trust that its winds will guide you to where you need to go. We all know the curse of this pandemic, particularly on humanity’s plight. But the blessing is also the gift of surrender among our human kinfolk.
A Full Flower aka Sagittarius Moon arrives on May 26th 2021. Not coincidentally, it gets its name from an abundance of flowers that spring forth across North America. When I think of Sag, meditations of fiery energy, mixed with new philosophical ways of intuitive knowing resonates in my soul. Also, this Full Moon is the second consecutive supermoon, and biggest and brightest moon of the year. It is also a Total Lunar Eclipse, meaning that it is fully obscured by Earth’s shadow, giving the Moon a reddish hue, which is where the term blood moon comes from.
Moreover, please consider the following Sacred Geometrical Arcturian Wisdom, via the Third Wave Positive Self Talk Mantra: “The energy of the Third Wave makes you aware of your choice to be here on Earth. Accept who you are on this Earth, and your strength will increase.”
Artwork by Aunt Barbara Merlotti
I remember when Grandmother talked about being called “white trash”, during her formative years in St. Louis, growing up in abject poverty during The Depression. In fact, she never saw a dentist until she was 18 years old, when she walked in off the street with bleeding gums, and the kind folks at the dental office followed their “hippocratic oath” and did the right thing. In this day and age, it’s mind boggling that our current healthcare system, in the wealthiest nation of the world, can still be viewed by the Establishment as a privilege rather than an entitlement. In the American political scene, we can at least directly trace this old world attitude to the England’s Elizabethan Poor Law of the 1600s. If you would like to delve further, check out this link:
During her childhood and premarital adolescence, Grandmother was a member of what sociologist and Harvard professor William Julius Wilson many years later referred to as “the underclass”, in his book The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. When I read his book in college, I learned also by experience that he accurately noted that this underclass was a growing epidemic in our world, as well as in the US. Grandmother being spoken to in a derogatory way was the kind of racial epithet that is analogous to prejoriative language to characterize someone who is LGBTQ or BIPOC. Negative self-talk is typically not regarded as helpful, but it is less so when it is spoken aloud, with an underlying edge especially. What is with the attitude about the poor and oppressed, that they are deserving of their suffering, should be controlled, and punished accordingly?
The old world, and the status quo of its power structures are being dismantled, white privilege and white supremacy notwithstanding. In fact, a growing number of white people, including white men are part of this shift in equanimity in consciousness that is of mutual aid to the goose and the gander. We are living in a time when there is too much information, and it does seem to be harder to discover the truth. It is as if we are being asked by the Universe to discover the truth on our own individual basis, which is part of honoring our diversity. The unity piece comes in where we can know a collective truth. To do this, it requires that we are open to relaxing our attachments to the mental boxes that we have bought into.
Race and class in America are nothing new. But even in this day and age, we still experience cultural denial that we have institutional structures in place that are barriers to personal freedom and liberty. For example, some of our “friends in Congress” are trapped in a “fake news” denial that we have a system in place that is rooted in class consciousness. Dr. King and others fully recognized that we have both intentional and unintentional consequences of discriminatory oppression of certain populations – both vis a vis legal laws and unwritten rules that are perceived as “that’s just the way it is”. It was never easy to move up the socioeconomic ladder. But Grandmother admitted to me that her movement into the Middle Class during the 50s was made easier for her to assimilate into because of the complexion of her skin tone, and white anglo Saxon protestant lineage, in spite of the culture of poverty that she was born into, and converting to Catholicism. If anyone could have chosen to stay in denial about her racial privilege as a coat of armor to hide behind, it would have been Grandmother. But she never forgot about where she came from, did what she could to help others like her get a leg up, and be a good role model for overcoming obstacles. Besides, demonizing the oppressor, whatever he or she looks like, is not the solution. Overthrowing the government or powers that be will only replace the same tyranny and corruption that you seek to dismantle. This is a cold hard fact of life that must be understood. The looting and rioting, militarization of the police, the education to prison pipeline, and bloated military that protects the stock exchange under the guise of puppet dictatorships of dirty energy is a recipe for a widening gap between the haves and have nots.
For example, I remember the cultural context of African American culture in America, during the time period called the Great Migration, when black folks sought personal freedom by risking their lives to escape from the oppressive Jim Crow South. Part of staying alive, and reinventing themselves into a new chapter in life, many secrets were kept to hide from the collective trauma of their shared experiences. A historical debate sprung up about where to focus on the advancement of black people. In the Booker T. Washington camp, blue collar jobs were seen as a way out of poverty and socioeconomic empowerment. Basically, the belief was that black people could get a leg up if they had access to blue collar jobs in the trade industry, production, manual labor, etc. Sadly, but understandably, the decimation of the manufacturing base and labor movement have reinforced the truth of this point to appreciate. Proponents of Dubois bought into the idea of the “talented tenth”, which posited that the focus for black progress would come from the upper echelon of African American society via assimilation into the college educated, white collar world. For those of you that recall the 70s TV show The Jeffersons or the 80s The Cosby Show, you can see comedic caricatures of these nuances play out in sitcom format. Today, the rise of the black middle class reinforces both perspectives, as both camps are true, on some level. The real division was in a segregated either/or mindset that mirrors how divided our country is today. So even in black culture, as in other BIPOC cultures, there are hierarchical structures in place of who is perceived as entitled to privilege, and who is not.
Check out this brief video on “Being 12: What Are You?”
In fact, people that identify as BIPOC and LGBTQ and know their history understand the experience of “passing.” For example, you might see yourself as black, but you could pass as white. Or if you are gay, you could pass as being straight by pretending to be, or a trans person could front as being “cisgender” or in gender alignment with the sex they were ascribed at birth. But at some point in the game, waking up to who you are, and being allowed to express yourself in your true colors is suffocating if you cannot pass as yourself. Meditation on this perspective can help build empathy for another who might walk in different shoes than you do. On the other side of the coin, there is peer pressure to identify as LGBTQ, even if you are not because it is becoming the hip or chic thing to do. In early adolescence particularly, this can be a form of attention seeking, and over reliance on peers for identity development.
Psychologically, Albert Bandura was a behaviorist and father of the social learning theory, as the primary medium of personality development in children. In short, role modeling, or monkey see, monkey do is how we humans learn. Abraham Maslow, on the other hand was known for his pyramid called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, with basic survival needs at the bottom and self-actualization at the top, and some other areas of personal growth in the middle. If you don’t have equal access to basic resources, or feel safe or a sense of community connection or belonging, then it’s hard to move into the area of self actualization. It can be done, but you have to work a lot harder. A more fair and just society is created when incentives are in place for “these truths to be self evident.” Of course a child that is raised in a loving home where they feel wanted and loved reinforces this natural belief to a soul that its inner light can awaken and shine through its form. We are all born into this world with a unique blueprint that is designed to love. Yes, we have different temperaments, and our personalities evolve during our life cycle. What matters is how we work with our core temperaments, and evolving personality characteristics. You can be born with an anxious-avoidant temperament, an insecure attachment with your primary caregiver, and without an athletic bone in your body. But you can still learn to relax, feel safe inside yourself, and take up athletic exercise for your own wellbeing. Who cares if you’re bursting with nervous woodland creature energy like a squirrel or never become a famous Olympian. Squirrels learn by imitating, like we humans do, and you can always go to your inner Olympian for building your athletic confidence.
An old friend sent me the article below that reinforces the figure above:
Additionally, many of you know that Ghandi, who gave up his privilege, stood up to the British Empire, and India’s Caste System at the time. Also, Siddhartha Gautama aka the Buddha, left his father’s empire that was set up to protect him from suffering, and then he subsequently gave up his privilege to awaken his inner light and know his Higher Self. There are risks inherent in living a life with purposeful attention that is in alignment with the living moment. To trade that for fame, fortune, and complacent personal contentment is a choice wrought with victimhood. That’s why the oppressor suffers just as much, if not more than the oppressed. It’s a heavy cross to carry when you defend the status quo of an oppressive regime. At the end of the day, it’s a lose-lose situation, even though the illusion shows winners and losers, and justification for that paradigm.
Furthermore, in the film The Trotsky, the main character plays the role of a High School Student who believes he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky, the late Russian revolutionary. In the film, this Canadian youth inspires his school peers in a way that moves beyond their boredom and apathy into the self evident truth that “school doesn’t have to suck”, and that student empowerment is a real possibility. In a nutshell, the students in the film move from being “sheeple” to empowered youth, in a prosocial power through legitimate means. You know, the only kind of power that is sustainable, vis a vis an externally inspired prompting but internally directed fruition.
Interestingly, some cultures have a common language and shared stories about reincarnation. Basically, the idea is that our souls are real and are recycled as part of its evolutionary process. While this process can be accelerated in a single lifetime, because of the way the established paradigm is right now, the precedent has been set up to take many lifetimes for a soul’s personal growth and transformation to take place. But the flowering of consciousness taking root on the planet right now is flipping the script on all that. Perhaps you lived as a member of a different gender or race in another lifetime. This could leave you feeling more empathic to the plight of the people who remind you of your old self, or it could paradoxically leave you feeling entitled today. Past Lives Matter. Do you have memories of your soul having experiences in another form(s)?
More importantly, a spiritual perspective that aligns with the human potential movement, and a generalist social work perspective understands that basic needs or equal access to concrete resources supports other areas of psychological growth and self-actualization. If human beings are encouraged to harness our strengths, recognize our blind spots, explore what we are passionate about, and what builds their resiliency, then before long they want to be an ally to support others in having this quality of life. Is this social engineering? Yeah, but only in a more mindful, meditative, positive self talk kind of light. Just imagine the possibilities without Berlin Walls, Glass Ceilings, Ethnic Cleansing, Weapons of Mass Destruction or fixed ideas that inhibit connections between new neuronal pathways. When we rework our DNA with “plasticity of the mind”, we open up to new ways of doing things, a relaxation of attachments to conventional boxes in cognition, and emotional reactions to our engrained repetitions. In this space, we observe a calming down of thought forms manifesting as verbal and physical escalations and behavioral traps respectively.
What is more, brain science reveals a false dichotomy” about trying to differentiate between the brain/body, in much the same way as we try to do between mental health and health. You can see this misunderstanding happen in the compartmentalized culture here in the US. The reason that meditation is good medicine is that it literally rewires the brain toward equilibrium so that we can respond to our emotions effectively. Daily practice is a general workout that exercises our social skills because the rehearsal pays off. Self awareness is knowing our triggers ahead of time. When we lean into our pain, and then shift our focus toward peaceful, calming thoughts and mindful breathing, we are putting the spotlight on our emotional centers in a positive way. Can you become more connected, in a way where you could tune into sensing a feeling a sense of ease or unease? For example, might you ask yourself some reflective questions like, am I needing to rest, take care of myself in a way that I haven’t, or am I congruent with my values at this moment? Personally, I like to think of the children’s story The Little Engine That Could for an inspirational friendly reminder. It helps me stay on track and not run out of steam, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Many of my students (and coworkers) have good “bullshit detectors.” As such, they know the difference between those that fake self confidence (we’ve all done it) versus those who have developed a “realistic self confidence.” And given that we humans have the ability for pretending, we can all learn to “fake it till we make it.” Along the way, we can see ourselves standing in our own personal authority by growing roots in the living moment.
But beyond a sense of entitlement, is a value attached to taking ownership for awakening our personal and collective power. This can happen through currency or any energetic exchange, like bartering. Reciprocity isn’t about the old egoic state of “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” mentality. Rather, it is an evolutionary step into and coming from our Higher Selves that embodies win-win situations.
Be kind to your mind when recognizing that there have been abusive matriarchies in place in human history, where men were subjugated. Where do you think the fear of feminine, yin energy or woman’s power came from? Whether realized or not, men have been programmed, as we all have, to have a fear of feminine power, albeit the connection to this fear is often unrecognized and can play out in silly “facebook wars”, cyberbullying experiences, and in person interactions. Of course this also can occur in trans-racial and cross-cultural communication too. So it stands to reason that if suddenly, magically overnight the LGBTQ and BIPOC identified groups were to be in the majority and in control of the hierarchical power structure, we would not be living in a utopian shangri la. Keep in mind that was Hugh Heffner’s vision of the Playboy Mansion. You can see how sustainable that vision worked out, if you can appreciate the sarcasm.
Finally, in our Civil Rights Teamwork, our students often freely initiate conversations organically. Because we established guidelines early on, they rarely need to be redirected to follow “the rules” of maintaining communication that embodies dignity and respect. For example, in a recent meeting, they initiated a healthy conversation about their respective astrological signs. During that conversation, we had an animated discussion about how you can take 10 people from the same race, ethnicity, ancestry or cultural background, who all might look similar on the surface, but could all have different astrological signs, meaning diverse orientations intrinsically. Like personality characteristics that are unique to the individual, a person’s astrological sign reflects their uniqueness and diversity, on a deeper level. Yet we all share the common tapestry of our humanity. Diversity in Unity. Remember that we are all mostly water in form. But on a deeper level, we are formless, yet luminous, energetic beings. Recognition of this does not discount our diverse expressions of form. If anything, we should honor those differences, as well as highlight our unity.
Take care of yourselves everyone,
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