Finding the Key Inside–Part 3 of 3

Tell me all about your prison, in detail.
Tell me about the stench, the awful colors, the dampness that never goes away.
Tell me about how you are tortured, morning and night, and the way that your captors leer at you.

I know the story well. It is my own.

How did you get there? How were you coerced? And how are you held inside?
How many men does it take to seal those walls in tight, to close the gap between you and your fears? And how do they hold you down and keep you in place?
I want to know, every detail.

What would it mean to be free? Does the thought excite you, or terrify you beyond words? Does that bring up images too? Of victoriously throwing off your captors? Of growing larger, finally, than the world?

What does freedom taste like? What does it smell like?
How does it embrace you at night?
And how was it ripped away from you?
Why did you ever let go?
How can find it again, and keep it this time? Bottle it and carry it with you?

Hmmmmm. . .
Freedom is a state of being–the state which is beyond change and condition. Can you rest there? Can you sense it? Yes. Breathe. You are perfect now, even in the midst of everything. You are enough.

Your Thoughts Create Your Reality–Part 2 of 3

You are not your thoughts, and yet–
Your thoughts create your reality.
How could this be? (A paradox.)

I will clue you in.
That tricky moment, that really sticky moment, is the moment where you first buy into what your thoughts are telling you.

You’ve forgotten what it felt like before you were trapped, before the walls snapped up, but I can tell you–
It was ordinary, and spacious and un-self-conscious.
In a word, it was free.

Not exuberant, bouncing off the walls, soaring over high buildings free, just simple:
Like that first spring day, where you really felt the wind, and sun, and saw the colors of trees popping.
Like that time where it was quiet (no demands), and you were communing with your cats, and a good book, and you felt this sudden rush of deep gratitude.
Like the first time you visited Colorado and you sensed the space inside and between those glorious mountains.
Free.

Funny how you chose to trap yourself away, again–but then again, we all do.
Comforted by the prison of our thoughts, afraid of breaking our ingrained habits, we really don’t want to take a risk–
The risk of taking full responsibility,
The risk of dropping everything we know.

Anything could happen then! (How terrifying!) People might really see us!

And so, we recreate the same stories, again and again,
We repaint the same gray, concrete walls,
And we complain about the way in which we are imprisoned.
Never knowing that that prison is our mind,
Always forgetting that we have the key.
Always terrified of using it.

It’s okay. I won’t make you. (That’s not the way it works.) And I won’t judge.
I will visit you, in your prison, whenever you declare that hours are open.
I will peer through the bars, and I will see your perfection, and I will send love.
Just that.

For some days, I am trapped too,
and those days, I can’t see you,
(I think you don’t care)
and maybe you are waiting for me,
for my freedom, or just my visit.

And so, I will key in now,
to my body, to my fear, to my breath.
I will hum the universal sound,
deep within my bones,
and I will remember that that is me
(Not those bars, and not those nasty thoughts.)

I will remember that I am only ever imprisoned by choice, by will,
and I can leave when I get tired,
or when I wish to find you again.
Will you look for me, too?
Beyond your bars?
Inside and beneath your pain?
Let me know if you find me there, and I will stay, until it is time for us both to go.

NOW (beyond the curtain)–Part 1 of 3

You are not your thoughts.

Nor are you the product of whatever your thoughts tell you you are, as glorious (one moment) or awful (the next) that they may make you feel.

You are not the product of anyone else’s thoughts, either–not your friends’, not your boss’, not your mom’s, and not those of the girl across the room that you’ve been eyeing.

And so, whatever your thoughts tell you is going to happen next, that’s irrelevant now.

Wherever your thoughts project you will be in 5 year’s time, is beside the point.

Go beyond the thoughts.

Now is your opportunity, and only now.

Seize it.

Drop into that rapidly beating heart of yours. Drop below those tense shoulders for a moment and breathe.  Just that.

Breathe.

Can you feel the curtain of thoughts parting?

Good.  Now, let your true self take a look around.  Try on the lens of awareness.

It’s different every time–like a master pianist finding the new invention in an old standard (one he’s play a thousand times, always fresh).

What will you discover? Here, now? It’s a mystery.  And the best kind–the kind where choose your own adventure.

No false hopes, no trap doors.

Just new moment after new moment.  Just rich silence, and shiny sounds, and bright tastes and fresh beginnings.

Try it on for size.  You can always return to the old way (we always do, out of fear, or out of habit), but if you like what you find, you also just might return, again and again, fresh each time.  Always beginning.

Fire and Water–Best of Friends, or Worst Enemies?

Fire and Water2013 was year of water, no doubt about it.  In terms of the Chinese elements, we were living through the year of the Water Snake (which followed the year of the Water Dragon).  Astrologically, we continued our watery immersion, with Saturn in Scorpio and both Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, which were then joined by Jupiter in Cancer (creating a grand trine last summer).  And the north node AND Mercury retrograde periods were also in water signs—so basically our immersion in water (emotions, family, intuition/connection and the unconscious) was non-stop.  Sometimes those waters were nourishing, and sometimes, frankly, they were a bit overwhelming—especially when we had the energy of Uranus and Pluto kicking dirt all over the place too.  (Phew!)

2014 is, in some ways, quite different.  But, we’re not out of those watery woods just yet (to joyfully mix my metaphors ;-)).  No—we’ve still got those three big hitters (Neptune, Jupiter, and Saturn) hanging out in the three water signs (though that will start shifting, beginning with Jupiter, this summer).  And, in fact, we’ll be feeling the effects of another grand water trine—with Chiron joining Jupiter and Saturn—soon.  In the meantime, we’ve also got Venus transiting through Pisces (where she is exalted), and meeting up with Neptune this Friday, so dust off those dream journals or get ready to tinkle the ivories—you’ll want to channel that Divine creative energy when it comes tapping on your door.

Okay, so , you get the picture. . . All of that water is still in play.  I guess that’s not a big surprise.  What is making things really interesting right now is the addition of a bunch of FIRE energy, especially over these next few weeks, while the Sun and Mercury are still transiting through Aries.  Add to that the fact that we’re in a Wood Horse year right now (not fire—but definitely energy that likes to move quickly!).  AND add to that, too, the fact that we’ve got the south node transiting through Aries (FIRE) for the next year and a half, plus the first in a series of eclipses (a lunar eclipse, with Sun in Aries/moon in Libra) coming our way early next week (Monday night/Tuesday morning).

That’s a lot of energy, all playing out right now.  Add to the mix the fact that we’ve got a Cardinal Grand Cross coming in less than two weeks time (with exact aspects b/w April 20 – 22), and it can be a bit confusing knowing WHAT to do with all of that energy.  We know we need to do something, we can feel the changes brewing—but what to do?

Good question. . . And one that I can’t answer for you, exactly.  But I’ll try and lend some more perspective, so that maybe—just maybe—you might get a handle on how to tease apart the energy a bit more for yourself.  So—back to fire and water.  You might find it perplexing that I keep returning to these elements, but I believe they hold the key.  So, let’s explore them further, shall we?

FIRE

Fire is the element of faith.  It’s the element of inspiration, of literally being “lit up” by vision, and passion and purpose.   It’s what makes you feel alive.  It’s what gives you a reason to fight, or even to wake up in the morning.   It’s the energy of desire, and life, and joy. . . But sometimes, it gets too “revved” up, and then it risks gets carried away—or simply burning out.  Sometimes, too, in it’s excitement, it can be self-centered, and not see another person’s point of view.

WATER

Water is the element of deeper knowing, and of connection.  Water complements, or contraindicates, Fire’s passion with a sensitive intuition.  Water feels—and not just its own emotions.  Water feels the needs of others.  Water creates bonds.  It nourishes.  And, at its best, it comforts and heals. . . Sometimes, however, it becomes overwhelmed, due to it’s sensitive nature, and it needs to withdraw to restore and protect itself.  At other times, when out of balance, it becomes afraid of losing support, and can become “clingy” or suspicious/mis-trusting.

Now you can see why, and how, both fire and water, carry so much charge.  Water is the energy that moves inside of us, and that connects us with others.  Fire is the energy that swells up inside of us, and that inspires us to action and to larger purpose.

So, what happens when you mix fire and water? Well, generally, one of two things:

1)      The water puts out the fire, OR

2)      The fire causes the water to boil.

In the first case, water is acting upon fire (and thus, cooling and vanquishing it).  In the second case, fire is acting upon water (which is presumably in a pot), and thus activating it and making it more energetic and expulsive.

So, why do I believe that everything, right now, “boils” down to fire and water? (Haha—another pun.  You’ll have to excuse me. ;-)) Well, for a couple of reasons:

1)      The south node—and the Sun, Mercury and Uranus—are all currently in Aries (Cardinal, or initiatory, Fire);

2)      Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Neptune are all currently in water signs;

3)      Therefore—the only other two planets in the basic astrological mix (Sun + planets Venus – Pluto) are Pluto (in Capricorn) and Mars (in Libra).  In other words—Pluto is the only earth sign planet (but, being a Scorpionic planet, it has some chaotic and watery elements), and Mars is the only air sign planet (but, being a Firey planet by nature, it will act a bit combustively/assertively).

So, how do I recommend that you work with the energy right now?

Well, first you need to become more energetically aware.  In other words—pay attention to how you feel, what themes are arising in your life and consciousness, how you are currently “reacting” to the energy, and what you may need to bring you back into balance.

You’ll know that the energy of water is overly strong within you if you feel very cautious, or depressed, or ruled by fear and attachment.  Conversely, you’ll know that the energy of fire is strong if you become easily exuberant, manic, pushy/overbearing, excitable and/or “carried away” (especially by some new vision that has flared up out of nowhere, or that you know that you “must share” “right now”).

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Comfort (water) is good.  And so is passion (fire).  But you’ll want to find proper channels for this energy, so that you can maintain consciousness and awareness, and not be overwhelmed/over-ridden by it.  Some good outlets include physical activity (great for channeling the fire energy), intuitive-creative practices (such as automatic writing/drawing, dancing or playing music), and divination work (such as Runes or Tarot—great for joining fire vision and water knowing).

I also strongly recommend doing some meditative work at the time—for example, Shamatha/mindfulness meditation.  Remember that the “missing” elements, here, are air (detachment/objectivity) and earth (stability, groundedness, practical details).  Mindfulness practice is an excellent way to stabilize your mind (air) and to bring it in relation to the body (earth).  Contemplative movement practices such as yoga or Tai Chi—especially practices that emphasize slow, mindful movement—could be helpful and balancing as well.  Similarly, listening to the needs of your body in relation to food, movement, and rest is essential right now.

Finally, don’t forget to “talk out” any conflicting emotions with a loved one, or with a trusted advisor—even with your trusted journal. 😉 Remember that all of this Aries energy is ruled by Mars in Libra, so getting another’s perspective, or just trusting the act of sharing, is so necessary right now.

So is the act of listening.  Above all, listen to the wisdom that arises—from within, from your practices, from your guides, from your friends and loved ones.  This is a wonderful time of change and growth, but you also need to find stability in your mind and comfort in your heart.  You CAN find the guidance that you need, if you are willing, from time to time, to go within—or just to pause, and listen.

Namaste. <3