How to survive and flourish through the Lions Gate, The Eclipse Series, Politics and August

This month we have a series of eclipses that traditionally bring great disruption and change … the political arena is heating up, and we also have the Lions Gate. On August 8th is a peak of a cosmic alignment that happens each year.  Since it happens in Leo it’s called a Lion’s Gate.  It’s an alignment of the stars in the heavens that opens a portal bringing a clear connection between the heavens and the earth. It’s a link between our cosmic helpers, origin, destiny … and the here and now on earth.
It is a time when light comes through, we are blessed … and opportunities open up. It’s also often emotionally intense, exhausting and the newness and intensity can cause disharmony with those around us.
Many of us feel a call to stillness for integrating these experiences … yet it’s such a busy time of year. Kids in North America are often bored by summer at this point, families are taking vacations, people are bar-b-quing and entertaining, time by the swimming pool … it’s all good yet full on. Work projects continue and the summer heat rages on.
I wanted to share with you some tips for easing the stress of this time, tips for fully receiving the gifts available as well as tips for ongoing self care and deep self love.
1) Slow deep breathing soothes the vagus nerve which helps reset the fight or flight system. Doing this for two minutes with eyes closed a few times a day can be transformative. It can switch your adrenal system so it is rebuilding rather than depleting.  This can be huge!
2) Take a 20 minute bath with 1 c epsom salts and 1 c baking soda. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil if you have it. This helps with aches and pains, helps by clearing your aura, deepens your sleep and gives you some alone time to reset.
3) Find 10 minutes a day for the next month. This isn’t a crazy goal. I’ve done a series of 30 day goals this year. Completing them for the month (with self forgiveness for the days I miss) reminds me I can follow through. I rarely miss days any more. This simple act of follow through builds my self esteem and confidence in quiet ways. And this is just a bi-product of the series!
The actual intention is: to journal, write feelings, list gratitudes, or listen, write and receive. Relish the quiet. You’ll LOVE what comes through and find it a transformative process.  It will direct your focus to stillness, listening, reflection and the positive. There is a lot of research that any of these options will bring healings to both your brain and your life.
4) Movement – walking, yoga, bicycling, swimming … you know the drill and I’m sure have an exercise of choice. I recommend one or two spread over 5 x a week. Even if just 20 minutes a day.
Benefits are better digestion, better sleep, ease of movement, more happiness from endorphins, mental clarity and ease of emotions.
5) Clean diet. Summer is when we have most access to fruits and vegetables. My recommendation is to simply make more healthy choices than not. Keep it simple. Feel your pants loosen. Feel your motivation to reach for even more healthy choices as the month goes along.
Benefits: Helps with digestion, sleep, mental clarity, ease of emotions, oh, and weight loss.
6) Be gentle with yourself and those you love. This can be a rough time for each of us personally and for those we love Intend to be patient, intend to be gracious, intend to give second chances. Be gentle with yourself and others. This is not a time for drawing lines in the sand. And it doesn’t mean you’re called to be a doormat. Go ahead and ask for what you want, express your feelings and truth with vulnerability and truth. And choose ways to keep breathing. To keep loving yourself and others, to remember we’re all on this shared human journey that’s a little bumpy at the moment.
7) And Finally – I’m offering a distance group healing this month (It starts tomorrow – August 4th – though we’ll take registrations up to the last healing this month!) Cost: Donation  For more information on that http://cherry-leeward.com/distance-group-healing/

Is Doing Yoga Really Virtuous?

When my oldest was here over winter break, I told her one day that I felt virtuous as I had gone to yoga, made a green drink, done a meditation and started laundry. She questioned my use of the word “virtue” in relation to tasks. She pointed out that virtue is a moral word and that it’s really messed up to associate that with simply completing tasks (even if they’re healthy ones). As I frequently do with my kids, I kept reflecting on her words throughout the day. I realized that on days when I didn’t do yoga/green drink etc. I found myself lacking in virtue. Even if I’d done yoga 5 days in a week something felt OFF on the days I’m didn’t show up for class. I realized that my phrasing which I thought was praise and motivation for me on good days, was actually eroding my sense of goodness inside. It was eroding my positive sense of who I was.

And so I let go of that old view. Now, I probably do yoga one day less a month, and have stopped considering healthy choices a moral imperative. It’s allowed me to feel good about myself on the days I do these things, on the days I do some of these things and on the days I don’t. A little paradigm shift that may have far reaching consequences. We will see. It feels profound.

What unconscious beliefs and expressions are eroding your belief in who you are and your sense of your own goodness? It’s time for a MAJOR RESET for us all!

Anger & Flow

I had an experience today that was kind of new and I wanted to share. Stay here with me as I think it’s profound! I’ve been having hot flashes … you know … I’ve been really paying particular attention as I’m writing an article on embracing the gifts that come with menopause. Anyway … this past weekend was busy and full. Monday (today) is my day to do office work and catch up with life. Well – I’ve had a VERY cranky day today. It’s hard to keep the cheery demeanor amidst hot flashes and disturbed sleep. Particularly after a busy weekend. I don’t think the heat helped (my iphone said it felt like 108 F here in Baltimore).

What made my day interesting was this – other times in my life when I’ve felt angry/cranky I’ve felt out of alignment with myself, with spirit and with the world around me. Well today was different. I was cranky as can be … yet my house got cleaned, the errands were handled. People I needed to contact, contacted me. The to do list got done … sometimes this productivity makes my mood better. Today it didn’t. I just kept feeling cranky, yet everything went well … I checked the mail a few minutes ago and there was money there … I got in the lift and the person on my list who I had not made contact with was there. What I needed was handled in the space of one floor.

I believe this in theory, but don’t recall an entire day where anger and flow coexisted so very beautifully! And so at 8:00 pm I’m sitting down to meditate and do some writing. What a lovely new experience. I need to spend more time exploring self judgement around emotions and the effects on others. I’ll keep you posted. And would love to hear your experiences – particularly around anger!

Expectations

I used to have high expectations of families at holidays and many other people on a variety of projects. I learned over the years to let go of these expectations in a space of being present. I found more joy and less hassle – which was a good thing. I wish I could say I solved it all but I got pretty close and have learned to feel my feelings around disappointments and let them go with more ease than ever. Knowing I’m still a work in progress.

I’ve only recently discovered a different kind of expectation that was messing with me and I wanted to share – you might relate to it.

I’ve been using my intuition overtly more and more. And been expanding my presence practice. For instance, I now think it’s more important to listen to myself and my body than to stick with my walking/yoga schedule. And in this space I exercise more than I have in previous years. It’s been an interesting and unexpected development.

My new edge snuck up on me. It’s a little edge but may bring great results. I’ve discovered that I’ll tune in before a yoga class on days I don’t want to go … I’ve asked if I’ll feel better after class (which should be an obvious answer). I’ve found that I get a “no” to that … then I assume that I WON’T feel better afterwards. Which has surprised me and spun me out a bit. On a number of days I’ve gone anyway and have discovered that I on those days I actually feel better DURING class. Not AFTER class. Silly and small but has been a huge eye opener for me.

I have been surprised to find that when my intuition says NO to something positive I assume that the true answer is something negative. Ends up in almost all cases it’s actually been something even better. And so … I’m asking now, for something even better in just about every area of my life! May health, joy, adventure and abundance show up even more brightly than I can imagine. And may I be open to that outcome in every situation.

I ask the same for you!

Is It Mine? Notes for Empaths

This fall and winter I’ve been in an interesting space. Lots of quiet and introverted time. It’s been good and needed. Then as we’ve gotten closer to spring … I’ve had some opportunities show up and a I signed up for a program to support me as I continue to grow professionally. The timing was perfect as I had been sitting and preparing for SOMETHING.

I was ready and the decision to sign up was easy. Since signing up, I’ve been in a place of self doubt, feeling cranky and more … then realized that as an empath, I’m feeling the emotions of the entire group. Everyone is scared, everyone is having doubts about themselves, everyone is excited, and everyone is getting their nerve aligned to make a LEAP!  It was one thing to feel my own emotion around this and another to feel the feelings of maybe thousands of other people and assume they are mine. I KNOW BETTER! 

So … today … I went … this isn’t mine! It wasn’t a shout. Just a quiet realization. So simple and quick. In that moment, I found my own excitement, and honestly, very little doubt. I found myself back to my space a few weeks ago … with pulsing spring energy inside of me … full of optimism like a seed getting fat underground. Certain that I will rise up. I don’t yet know what the next bloom will look like. What I know is I’m ready and in a place of joy as I work and tend and wait to see. Wishing you joy and active patience while you await your certain harvest!