Journey to your River of Life

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We are now firmly into the waxing crescent energy of the new lunar month. Your Yin intuitive New Moon energy is still powerful but starting to wane, and you are likely feeling an increasing Yang energy as we move towards the Full Moon.

We are also now fully flowing with Autumn energies, associated with the element of Water. And even though we are in Libra with its balance of head and heart, change — with its flow and strong emotions — may feel like a constant at this strong turning point in the year.

This brings us to our word for the month. Currents… the currents in the River of your life in all their forms… currents of energy, currents of emotion, back currents, rapids, stagnant pools, deep stirrings, surface ripples, floating with or fighting the current.

As this month progresses, bring your awareness to the currents in your life and take some time now to journey or meditate on the River of Your Life…. taking note of its appearance and course:

🌙 What does the River of your Life look like? Is it deep? Shallow? Wide? Narrow? Calm? Turbulent? Does it have steep banks or perhaps a sandy beach?

🌙 What does the landscape around your River look like? Forest? Arid lands? Prairies? Mountains?

🌙 What is the course of your River? Does it flow across a continent… or perhaps smaller, starting from a spring and flowing into a nearby lake or sea?

🌙 If you have journeyed to your River before, does it appear differently now? If so, how?

And now consider these Soul Questions:

🌙 What does your River tell you about your current (!) situation?

🌙 What is now coming to the surface of your River that calls for your awareness?

🌙 What happens when you stay in flow with your River?

🌙  Where the dams in your River?

🌙 What happens when you stay in flow with your River?

It’s now time to take those New Moon musings and River meditations and commit to action for this month’s lunar journey.

Remember that you don’t have to change the world this month, or commit to climbing Everest. You can commit to something meaningful that might be a small step, such as choosing to connect with Nature every day… to exercise more… to add more fresh foods into your diet… to reconnect with a friend you haven’t seen in a while… to complete a project you’ve put off… to read a book.

Whatever you do, let the currents of your River flow freely and strongly in your life.

Do I change like a river, widening and deepening, eddying back on myself sometimes, bursting my banks sometimes when there’s too much water, too much life in me, and sometimes dried up from lack of rain? Will the I that is me grow and widen and deepen? Or will I stagnate and become an arid riverbed? Will I allow people to dam me up and confine me to wall so that I flow only where they want? Will I allow them to turn me into a canal to use for they own purposes? Or will I make sure I flow freely, coursing my way through the land and ploughing a valley of my own?
― Aidan Chambers, from “This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn”


 

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Quarter Moon in Sagittarius: Meet your Mentors for the journey

The First Quarter arrived today, September 9th, at 11:49 UTC. It’s time to take those seeds and ideas you nurtured at the New Moon and take action, and to ask the Soul Questions “What is flourishing?” and “How do I move forward?”.

This Quarter Moon is in Sagittarius and wants us to think BIG… to look at the BIG picture.

Last month we looked at the obstacles that might come up in the journey when we reach the Quarter Moon, such as fear or self-doubt, and ways to conquer them.

But sometimes the obstacle is not fear… it may be a lack of inspiration, or a creative block, one where we literally cannot see a plan for manifesting our goal. We are thinking so big that we cannot see the details.

Our journey with the Moon is often compared to Joseph Campbell’s (s)Hero’s Journey. And at this stage of the journey, our (s)Hero finds their mentor or teacher, the guru who shows them their power and how to dig deep into their Wise Inner Self to understand that they are capable of the journey and to show them the way forward…. Think of Dorothy and her series of mentors such as Glinda and The Scarecrow, think of Luke Skywalker and Yoda, or Jason (of the Argonauts) and Hera.

Maybe you already have a Mentor or Guide. If lack of inspiration or a creative block is your  obstacle, sit with your Mentor and ask for their guidance.

But there is another way…. You can call on ANY mentor or guide who can help you, in a meditation (or journey) such as The Mentors Circle:

MEET YOUR MENTORS IN SACRED CIRCLE
Once you are relaxed and grounded, in your mind’s eye visualize (or journey to) the place you would like to meet your Mentors…. a place you feel comfortable and secure, perhaps with a flame of inspiration burning in the centre of the Sacred Mentor’s Circle.

Think of one question, the one question that when answered would free up your imagination to create your plan. It could be something simple like:

  • “What am I missing?” or
  • “What is the key to moving forward?” or
  • “What do I need to know here?”

Think of three (or more) individuals who could advise you. It can be anyone at all, perhaps someone you admire or look up to, or someone you have turned to before… they can be real or fictional, dead or alive, human or not. I had one client who called on James Bond. Another called on her childhood cat. Another called on Athena. Yet another called on Wolf.

Invite your mentors to the Sacred Circle you have created, and ask each of them in turn your question. Listen with awareness. Thank them for their insight and wisdom when complete.

Meditate on their answers, then ask your Self these questions for each Mentor:

  • If I were to take the advice of “Mentor One” (Buddha, Brigid, your Great Grandmother, your animal Guide, etc) as a starting point, what now opens up for me?
  • If I looked at my question through the eyes and wisdom of Mentor One, what else would I learn? 

Do this for each Mentor, and journal the insights that are now opening up for you.

Alternative
I love using Oracle or Tarot cards for my Mentor Circle, and the unexpected insights that a random (but we know that nothing is truly random!) three card draw can bring. I especially like Oracle cards for this. Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Cards, Colette Baron-Reid’s Enchanted Map of the World, Steven D. Farmer’s Earth Magic, The Wild Unknown’s Animal Spirit Deck are all favourites I go back to time and again.

Pull a card for each Mentor and follow the meditation/journey the same way.

And know that these Mentors are always available for you next month, or whenever you need their wisdom.


 

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Set your intentions with the Waxing Crescent Moon

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In our Journey with the Moon each month, the time of the New Moon is the rich fertile ground where the seeds of our ideas and intentions for the month are nurtured in our Inner Self.

Today we can see the first glimmer of light on the Moon, and have reached the Waxing Crescent phase. Time to set your intentions for the month, to let them take root in your awareness.

On the New Moon, I shared with you the theme for this month’s lunar journey: balance and harmony. Today I will finalize my personal intentions around that theme.

And today I will also do my monthly Medicine Wheel oracle/tarot card spread… I always wait until the end of the New Moon phase, when this first glimmer of Moonlight arrives, to do this spread. I will share it with you later this morning.

What will you focus on this month? What seeds  were planted that will grow throughout this journey?

 


 

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Happiness: Looking for the Spiritual pony in Life’s manure

Let’s talk about happiness…

What does it mean to you? Are you happy?

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In a Facebook group, a question was posed recently that ignited a dialogue about happiness and what it meant to me and others:

“What are you doing right now to get closer to your true self and feel happier?”

WOW! Great question! The first aha moment for me was the implicit assumption in the question — in my mind at least — that being closer to one’s True Self equates to a greater degree of happiness.

But is that true? If I am totally aligned with my True Self will I be completely happy? If I am out of alignment with my True Self can I be happy at all?

For me, being happy is not necessarily an outcome of being closer to my True Self. Happiness is a choice for me, a way of experiencing the world. I can be happy even when I don’t know exactly what’s happening in my life or what’s coming next. I can find joy in life’s possibilities.

I’m happy because I’m committed to creating an authentic life and seeing the world through the filter of happiness and joy.

And no, I’m not happy all the time… I experience pain, sadness, frustration, loss, anger and grief like all of you. But my underlying state is happiness and I choose to interact with the world from that place.

Is being happy as simple as the difference between optimism and pessimism?

I recall a story told in an undergraduate psychology class years ago, likely apocryphal in nature. It concerned a psychologist who was studying optimism and pessimism variants in twin pairs of children, and whether one’s fundamental nature or outlook on life could be modified through experience.

The pessimistic twin was placed in a room full of brightly wrapped gifts, yet sat there glumly leaving the parcels unopened. When asked why the youngster replied,

“I probably won’t like any of them and they’ll probably get broken anyway.”

The optimistic twin was placed in a room full of organic fertilizer and a shovel. S/he gleefully started digging into the pile. When asked why the child replied,

“With all this manure, there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere.”

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What makes you happy?

I have posed these questions to friends and clients to see if optimism or pessimism makes a difference, and to see how others felt about finding or creating happiness:

  • When are you happy?
  • If you’re not happy now, when will you be happy?
  • What stops you from being happy?
  • What are you doing to feel happy?

The answers are as different and varied as the people I was speaking with. Many saw happiness as cause-and-effect:

🌞 I will be happy when I meet my life partner

🌞 I will be happy when I lose (gain) 20 pounds

🌞 I will be happy when I finish my degree

🌞 I will be happy when I have enough money to retire / buy…

🌞 I will be happy when poverty is eradicated

🌞 I will be happy when I find a new job / leave this job

🌞 I will be happy when I truly know my life purpose

🌞 I will be happy when I am free of pain

All of these may be true. We can certainly be happy — and proud, excited, joyous, satisfied, etc — when we make positive change or manifest a goal… or just because life is pleasant and satisfying. But many of these states of happiness people described are predicated on some external event or criteria that may or may not be within their control. I was certainly very happy when knee replacement allowed me to be mobile and once again free of pain… but I certainly had a happy life even with those conditions.

Does not meeting the criteria mean one cannot achieve happiness?

Does meeting the criteria guarantee happiness?

If one meets a goal of losing/gaining 20 pounds, there are definitely positive outcomes such as potentially better health and more. But if that person has underlying issues with self-confidence or body image, will that change how s/he feels about the Self? One possible outcome is that s/he continues to be a self-doubter who also weighs more or less than before. But they may not be happy. The work —and happiness —is on the inside.

How many folks complain that too many hours at work robs them of their health, their personal time and relationships? Perhaps you are one of them? They complain that they literally do not have enough time in the day to do a good job AND find balance in life. They frequently complain that every job has the same problem and that by finding a new job the problem will disappear… yet the same thing happens in the next new job. And once again, happiness eludes them. For “job”, substitute “relationship” or “health” or any  other goal. The external conditions may change…. but the internal landscape remains the same. The work —and happiness —is on the inside.

In many cases, the tendency to create a happiness dependent on future criteria allows us to mask our inability to deal with our underlying self-limiting beliefs or challenges in the Now. We may not know HOW to nurture our Self. We may not know HOW to create a healthy relationship. We may not know HOW to manifest our dreams or passions. For instance, by choosing to overwork,  we can blame the job, our manager, our finances for our failure. But by doing so, we are avoiding our deeper issues and challenges, and robbing ourselves of the chance to explore other ways of being. Again, the work — and happiness — is on the inside.

Creating Happiness

I believe it all starts with how one defines happiness: Joy? Contentment? Elation? An outcome? Satisfaction at completing a goal? All of the above?

Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, in her book The How of Happiness defines happiness as:

“the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being,

combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”

WOW! And for me, that is the key… the sense that happiness is an internal spiritual process — a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile — and can be felt and achieved in the absence of external conditions and criteria. We can be happy if we choose to be happy.

Happiness is a spiritual choice.

The following quote, often attributed to Abraham Lincoln (but not until 50 years after his passing, so likely not his words!) says it all for me:

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

Make up your mind today. CHOOSE to be happy. CHOOSE to let the happiness bubble up from within even if you don’t have the new job… the new outfit… the life partner… CHOOSE to be happy because you deserve to be happy.

If you find that happiness is still eluding you, it’s time to gift and honour your Self by exploring what beliefs are getting in your way. Do what work’s best for you:

  • Take a shamanic journey
  • Meditate
  • Delve into shadow work, on your own or with a healer/therapist
  • Explore your self-limiting beliefs through a PSYCH-K balancing session

You CAN choose to move forward in a positive way and manifest the happiness that we as humans are entitled to.

And ask your Self this :

What would it be like to have happiness as a starting point rather than a result? How might that rock your world? 

You can find the Spiritual pony in Life’s manure!

Remember…

You ARE good.

Your life IS meaningful.

You ARE worthwhile.

You CAN choose Happiness.


 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Happiness. Please share in the comments area.


 

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Tip of the day: Use a different perspective to find new choices

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During sessions with clients, I often hear the words “I just can’t think of another way to….” or “there are no other choices available“.

And that’s okay — because wherever you are in your journey IS okay. But if you are interested in making changes and opening up to new choices, there are many avenues to explore. Part of my work is helping people open up to other choices and possibilities, and to eliminate those self-limiting beliefs or behaviours that result in fewer choices and replace them with more empowering beliefs and choices.

Know this: There is ALWAYS another choice … because there is always another way to look at a situation or challenge. We can get stuck in that rut of our own beliefs…  we assume they are truths and allowing them to limit our choices.

Find other ways to open up your creative mind.

Look at things in a different way, from a different perspective.

Think outside the box that you created by challenging your assumptions and beliefs.

As John Mason said,

“You can never see the sunrise by looking to the west.”

What do YOU do when you feel blocked? When you cannot see a way forward? If you’ve always “looked to the West”, what might happen if you looked in a different direction?

I use many different tools to help people open up to other choices — including traditional solution-focused coaching tools — such as PSYCH-K®, PER-K® and elements from healing, energy and shamanic work.

For instance, for someone who is stuck in their head or in analysis / paralysis, I might ask them to connect with a chakra such as the heart, root, third eye or solar plexus and then ask them to look at the situation through that way of being. I would ask questions such as:

“What does your heart (third eye, etc) say?”
 or 
“What does your heart (root chakra, etc) know that your conscious mind doesn’t know?”

I frequently use oracle or tarot cards, OH cards or runes to stimulate the creative thinking and shift in perspective, asking what insight might be gained from considering the situation from the images presented in the cards.

One of my clients was struggling with her new online business. It was actually doing very well financially but she didn’t feel as happy or satisfied as she thought she would. Something was missing but she couldn’t clearly identify what it was and couldn’t think of how she might resolve her concern that “something was missing”.  She had hoped a shamanic journey might illuminate the answer.

Before we started the journey, I randomly selected two WomanRunes cards asking only for insight that might support her. What came up was The Tree (the Rune of Prosperity) and The Sisters (the Rune of Friendship). Her face lit up immediately… the significance was clear to her and to me. She recognised that what was missing in her business was the energy of personal contact and interaction with her clients, the creative boost she got when working in partnership, with working and creating in a team environment.

We started the journey with that new insight, and afterwards the client started manifesting and exploring possibilities with mind maps and vision boards until a whole new vision was created for her business that broadened her business base to include live sessions, workshops and teaming with other practitioners on select projects.

Experiment with the tools are the most effective for you, that resonate with you, and when you’re stuck again, you will have a whole new tool box with which to work.


 

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New Moon Supermoon in Pisces – WOW!

Today, Grandmother Moon beckons us to start a new journey… a new adventure, signified by the New Moon greeting us today, March 8th, at 05:55 PM Pacific Time.

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Plant the seed of your intentions by the rise of the Waxing Crescent Moon

This New Moon has so many significant features:

🌝 It is a Supermoon, meaning that the Moon is much closer to the Earth than usual. And even though we are in the dark part of the lunar cycle and the Moon is barely visible, the lunar energy is even more deeply felt.

The moon is in Pisces, the final sign of the zodiac before its own full cycle return in Aries. Pisces is a water sign, passionate, intuitive and emotional. It is associated with the Goddess Aphrodite (Venus, in Roman mythology) who represents love, beauty, pleasure and procreation.

🌞 And did I mention the Eclipse? Yes, there is also a solar eclipse coinciding with the birth of the New Moon, which will be visible only throughout the Pacific region, but which will be felt by all. It begins on March 8th at 23:19 UTC (3:13 PM PST) and peaks at 01:59 UTC March 9th (5:50 PM, March 8th PST). The Eclipse energy also promises new beginnings, new energy.IMG_3745

🌎 It is International Women’s Day. Could this date get any more significant? Please take some time – either on your own or in community with family and friends – to bless our beautiful Mother Earth on this day, and send out a strong intention and affirmation for women around the world: for the Maidens, Mothers and Crones; for our Sisters in all cultures, all countries.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US?
Because of the unique aspects of this New Moon, this month we are called to an even higher awareness, a higher consciousness, a deeper connection with our community, our tribe, with Spirit, with Flow… and to our own intuition. We are invited to explore the Dreamtime, to weave our consciousness with that of our Ancestors, Guides, Allies and Wise Self.

At the New Moon, we are the Infant, the Maiden. We are pure Yin energy. We emerge as a fresh sprout from the spiritual compost created by our Release in the previous lunar cycle, ready to begin again, to be reborn, start anew, grow and expand. And with the Supermoon, we can expect not just a new start…. maybe a new direction, perhaps an entirely different direction.

foolIn tarot terms, we are The Fool: at the start of the journey, with unlimited potential. At this point, we have no plans. No intentions. Nor do we have any constraints. We face the unknown with our bag full of the tools we need for our journey and our possibilities are limitless.

For those interested in Tarot, Biddy Tarot has a lovely overview of The Fool. And Tarot Goddess Ethony has an excellent on-line academy for the Tarot apprentice.

NEW MOON ACTIVITIES: Exploring and establishing our intentions
We ask our Self many questions at the New Moon so that we may create our intentions and plans for the month’s journey.

  • What is calling me to take action, to change?
  • Where will this new journey take me?
  • What is rising from deep within, from my Wise Self?
  • What is coming into my consciousness?
  • What is flourishing?

Consider taking a journey to find your answers. Pay attention to your dreams and to where your awareness is captured during waking time. All of these actions will support you in creating your intention(s) – the seed you will nurture in this moon cycle – before we reach the Waxing Crescent.

NEW MOON RITUALS
Create an altar for the New Moon, as a focal point for your meditations and for developing your intentions for this cycle. On this day so strongly associated with the Divine Feminine, include offerings, symbols and blessings for Mother Earth. Bring in elements representing the Divine Feminine, and the Water element to honour Pisces.

Do a New Moon Medicine Wheel Oracle Reading, a powerful process you can use throughout the lunar month for reflection, growth and wisdom.

Light a candle for all the Women in your life – the Friends, Sisters, Mothers, Grandmothers and all the women in your lineage.

IMG_4960This month my altar includes a pink prayer cloth (couldn’t resist pink on International Women’s Day), my Moon Bowl, my goddess stone and Brigid’s Cross, a selenite wand to represent the mystery and magick of Grandmother Moon, some healing crystals, an incense for the Divine Feminine and three candles to represent the Triple Goddess  – the Maiden, Mother and Crone. The wicker bowl I call my bird nest… the stones representing the eggs/seeds of new ideas for the new moon.

I have set it up outside and will light my candles and incense when I do my own New Moon Ritual and meditation. Throughout the day, I know that this place will be my Sacred Space all day.

If you are looking for a grounding meditation, consider listening to this lovely one from well-known Wicca practitioner Starhawk (but, of course, can be used by anyone, regardless of their spiritual beliefs):

New Moon Blessings !


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Giving Gratitude in the Waning Moon

I love that we always have the opportunity to start again in this life – every day, every month, every year. We can start a new journey with each New Moon, moving through cycles very similar to the cycles of our Sun year, the seasons from Spring through to Winter… entraining with the Lunar energy for maximum effectiveness.

The Lunar Cycle starts with the Yin of the New Moon – dark, quiet and still, in the womb of the Earth where new beginnings are birthed from seeds as if it were Spring. As we move – wax – towards the Full Moon, the Yang energy comes into its full expression; our seeds and ideas emerging from the fertile soil of our imagination and growing into their full summer bloom.

In the second half of the cycle, Grandmother Moon wanes and diminishes, as the Yang energy decreases and the Yin energy rebuilds on its return to the New Moon phase. The cycle repeats each month, from birth and growth through to harvest and deep rest.

Today Grandmother Moon moved into the Third Quarter of her cycle, strongly associated with the Earth element. It is a time to ground and give gratitude. In this part of the lunar cycle, we harvest the ideas we planted at the New Moon, and take time for reflection, learning – and in some cases relearning our lessons – and giving thanks.

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Activities for the Third Quarter:

Review your New Moon intentions and goals

  • What intentions did you create at the New Moon?
    • If you didn’t create any, look back in your calendar to the last New Moon (February 8th, as of this writing). What  were you working on at that time? What was happening in your life?
  • Has anything changed?
  • What is transforming?
  • Did you accomplish what you originally intended?
  • What did you learn?
  • With what you know now, would you create the same intentions or the same plan to manifest those intentions?
  • What would you do differently, if at all?
  • Why?

Celebrate the harvest with gratitude

  • Examine your life – and all the things for which you are grateful
  • Note them in your journal or simply give thanks

These activities will help you prepare for the next phase of the waning Moon – the Balsamic phase, just before the next New Moon.


 

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