M E R C U R Y I S I N R E T R O G R A D E
OK. I don’t know much about Mercury and retrogrades and stars. But I know this. I feel this one. Big time. (Case in note: see corresponding picture of me losing my mind).
I felt it in the way in which this week has brought some of the greatest creative highs and some of the deepest, darkest lows. How is that possible?
Well according to Chani*, the stars make is so. “If there is a planet in a sign that can both inspire the visions of our greatest artists meanwhile eroding the very ground we stand on leaving one feeling lost at sea; adrift in a world of phantoms, failures, losses, grief and sorrow it’s this one.” For real?
And if I have learned anything recently, it is that the more you practice, the harder and more complicated this journey gets. The “graduate” level practice challenges us to hold contradiction. To allow for the creativity and humanity at the same time. To experience our brilliance and beauty alongside our struggle and our shadow. I have come to know this over the last year in the way in which I’ve experience the deepest grief over my breakup AND the most beautiful, unexpected awakening. How are we supposed to make sense of this?
Chani goes on to say “…we cannot divorce the creative experience from the lived one. To bring something in to creation is to birth something into being. Anyone who has given birth will tell you that the former self is left in ruins on the floor. We are never the same, but hopefully we eventually emerge as another version of ourselves; one a little truer, sharper and more alive.” Good lord.
My dear friend and teacher, Suzanne Sterling, always says that on this spiritual path, the challenges just keep getting bigger, wilder and more difficult. But it is because you are building a capacity and a resiliency to hold the complexity of it. And know this…the universe will never give you anything you can’t handle.
We are being prepared for something. Buckle up.
ON THE MAT
Start with a meditation. Notice what feels good. Notice what feels bad. (These things are always happening at the same time). Can you hold both experiences in equal relationship? Can you respect the parts of you that are resistant as much as you appreciate the parts of you that are cooperative?
What is the pose you love and hate at the same time? For me it is Gomukasana (knee pile/cow facing pose). Something about this pose makes me crazy. It is uncomfortable, awkward and constricting. But something about it also hits the spot. As if it gets into the grooves of my body in the perfect way. My practice is to honor the sensation fully (not to bypass it) and to open up to the often-unexpected experience of release.
OFF THE MAT
Chani encourages us to beware of the reductive stories we tell ourselves that keep us in safe and closed off. “I am making up a story about______ right now and I have no idea if it’s true.” Sit with what is real, not convenient. And while it may not be the more simple, beautiful knowing…acknowledging what is true is the very thing that will set you free and release you from the suffering. This is a good time to “come clean”, reveal feelings, apologize and absolve us of anything that is in the way of our showing up fully.
*I feel compelled to say that I have no idea who this Chani person is. But this blog met me at the perfect moment this week and hit the spot. So, I felt moved to share. here