Sunday inspiration: Why me?

Art by NC Wyeth Art by NC Wyeth

I have two good friends with cancer, so this question is coming up a lot these days. And recently I did a reading for someone who was taken ill with pneumonia and since then suffered a seemingly never ending series of health problems and pain.  I’ve had clients who have been in terrible car accidents that paralyzed them.  Horrific abuse as children. Being fired from a job at which they excelled.

These events may seem terrible on the surface, and it would be easy when undergoing a drastic and terrible time to feel like Job in the bible on whom Jehovah visited a never ending series of trials.  But hidden in nearly all of these events is a kernel of magic that can transform our viewpoint and the way we see our world.

Cancer has been much on my mind lately because of my friends.  The last thing they want to hear from me is that there is a gift of magic hidden in their cancer.  I’ve never had cancer, so how do I know?  And is that really helpful?  What if they can’t find that gift, does that make them somehow a lesser person?  And yet there are many stories of people with serious illness who have found a new way of looking at their lives that completely transformed them.

Nine years ago I wrote this article about “the bright side of cancer.”  In this article I quote a number of people, including Lance Armstrong who said “Cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said. “I don’t know why I got the illness, but it did wonders for me, and I wouldn’t want to walk away from […]

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By |2016-10-08T12:17:06-04:00August 14th, 2016|Favorite posts, Inspiration|2 Comments

Meditation: the Discomfort Zone

meditation Source unknown

Many people believe that meditation will bring peace and tranquility, and at a certain point, when we are freed from the distress of our discomfort, we do achieve the equanimity which many of us long for.

When I began meditating many years ago I was taught that the mind and its thoughts and reactions was the source of all problems, and practicing meditation would free me of its influences.  I spent hours in sitting meditation, working hard to eliminate all thoughts.  I became very good at being numb, but I did not achieve inner peace.  The more numb I became to the insistent chatter in the brain, the more anxiety I began to feel until I finally experienced full blown panic attacks.

I now believe that the real secret of meditation is in learning a mindful approach to our discomfort.  When we feel emotional or energetic discomfort we often reach for something palliative to relieve the discomfort.  Food, drugs, alcohol – all of these are methods of reducing the level of discomfort in the body that triggers distress.   Mindful breathing and focus can help us to befriend the anxieties and emotional triggers to go THROUGH them and release them rather than go BEYOND them as I was taught years ago.

The breath holds the secret to befriending our discomfort.  Many of us hold our breath, either on the inhale or the exhale, in a fear of letting go to the experiences in the body.  This is a learned reaction to stress or unpleasant emotions, and learning to regulate the breath through deep inhalation and slow exhalation can help to decrease the anxieties around our discomfort and slow our reactions to it.

This is coming up for me personally because transiting Uranus is hitting a sensitive […]

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By |2015-04-23T09:19:43-04:00April 23rd, 2015|Astrology in my world, Consciousness|6 Comments

Transits and Transformation: Turning Crisis into Healing

Art by Susan Seddon Boulet Art by Susan Seddon Boulet

As humans, we tend to think that happiness is better than sadness, that good luck is better than bad. We may avoid difficult confrontations and pursue more comfortable situations. When tragedy strikes our well-protected lives, we shout out to our god of choice: “How could you do this to me??” We believe that our birthright is the pursuit of happiness, and we spend our lives trying to protect ourselves from sorrow.

The soul, however, has a different journey. The soul travels an ancient evolutionary path that seeks wisdom and connection with the divine. Often in our desire to defend ourselves from discomfort, we erect barriers within ourselves. Often we become so effective in compartmentalizing our emotions we become cut off from our very selves, our soul and our spirit.

In astrological terms, the orbiting planets form geometric angles to our birthchart planets, or “transits.” Each transiting planet has its own nature, its own personality and its own purpose-calling upon us as the ancient gods they represent to bring forth something in ourselves that has been lost. The inner planets move quickly: a transit of Venus will encourage relationships and creativity, a transit of Mars demands that we defend ourselves appropriately. Easy Jupiter transits can bring financial opportunity, or liberate us from difficult situations, whereas the challenging transits can cause reckless and risky behavior. The outer, or transpersonal planets, including Saturn which acts as the bridge between the personal planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter) and transpersonal (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto), take much longer to traverse the zodiac and therefore their effects are felt for a longer period of time.

The planets in our birthchart also “progress” through time, particularly the […]

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By |2019-11-10T20:01:05-05:00August 16th, 2013|Consciousness, Favorite posts, Lessons|5 Comments

Are Psych Drugs the Answer?

Bliss Concealed” by Jackie, age 16, from www.dbsalliance.org

As a child of the ’60s, it is peculiar to me that parents today are GIVING drugs to their kids. Research from Dr. Julie Magno Zito, of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, indicates that as many as 1.5 percent of American children between the ages of two and four are already on such substances as Ritalin – as well as being medicated with antidepressants and other “psychosis” directed drugs. The use of drug stimulants for children climbed two-to-threefold between 1991 and 1995, and antidepressant prescriptions nearly doubled during the same period.

Many of these childhood personality disorders seem to me to be simply reactions to stressful situation. I am particularly interested in something called Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a pattern of defiant and disobedient behavior and resistance to authority, since this would certainly have been my own diagnosis when I was a child. My birthchart shows that Uranus (rebellious behavior) squares my Sun (my Self, or essence). I am a rebellious person with a radical nature, and I am not afraid of reacting with defiance in a situation in which I feel mistreated. My parents just thought I was a “bad kid.” But did I need medication?

I have no wish to minimize the danger of true psychiatric disorders which require ongoing medication such as bipolar or psychotic episodes, or a serious depression or panic disorder which requires short-term medication to help the patient move through a difficult time. But I am concerned about our tendency in the modern world to avoid our own emotions and medicate our children into subservience.

The astrological birthchart identifies certain predispositions in our personality and emotional makeup. Acting as a map, the birthchart identifies our strength and challenges, and […]

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By |2019-08-26T15:20:13-04:00March 27th, 2006|Health & Healing, Psychology|Comments Off on Are Psych Drugs the Answer?
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