Eclipse/New Moon Reflections-August 2017

I’m moving through the wilderness in the next few days and since I may not have good internet again until I’m urban-side Sunday night, I wanted to post a note about next Monday’s New Moon-Eclipse, because HOLY GOD!! Eclipses have had a bad rep of being bad omens, but honestly, anyone who grew up in the 70s would know that there is really only one Bad Omen, Damien, and that’s just make-believe anyways 😉
The poets with whom I consult about these things do say that in a full Solar Eclipse, it is a “bad time to hide from your demons.” There’s a lot here, and this really is a big time astrologically, so it’s probably best that we all get a head start on our mental/spiritual/contemplative prep, before the shadow is cast.
Here’s what I think this means for you (and your journal):
– What are you feeling right now? Get in touch – deeply in touch – with this. This can be a time when your heart’s luminous desires overshadow your sunny sense of self. Accept everything that comes up in your experience.
– Once you’re connected with what you’re feeling, dive into it. How do these feelings related to your overall life patterns? Resist any temptation to stay on the surface.
– Who is your support system? The energies triggered by this eclipse – which may be felt for the next 6 months – can be big, and even feel like crisis. Bolster your community-connection.
– For the US, this crisis-aspect of the eclipse is hitting us in the heart. Lots of interesting info about that, but it may be more productive to focus on:
– What matters most to me about living where I live? Especially if in the US, what work do I need to do to dismantle oppression and challenge the demeaning, dehumanizing rhetoric of the current administration?
– How am I active and engaged? How do I need to step up my efforts?
– How am I impacted by the rise or collapse of power?
– How am I relating with my own power?
Such an event, this upcoming Leo New Moon/Eclipse! Mercury is retrograde too, until 9/5, so you may be doing lots of reviewing, reflecting, reassessing…mostly I hope you’re able to embrace this time as a catalyst for clarifying your truth and receiving important transformations – and take good care of yourself through the process.

Observing Nature’s Cycles: Lammas

Today is Lammas, the Northern Hemisphere’s true “mid-summer” and the point between the Summer Solstice and the Autumn Equinox. It is a time to celebrate the First Harvest, and to enjoy the growing fruits of our labor.

Here are journal/reflection prompts to help you celebrate and calibrate to the season:

  • What are you ready to harvest? What ideas/projects/plans have you been cultivating that have now come to fruition?
  • What is still ripening, and needs your tender attention?
  • What is your true heart’s work? Where is your inner compass guiding you?

August is a month full of fiery-earthy magic. There are 2 upcoming eclipses – events that generally herald change, as something is clearly different when the shadows cover our celestial orbs! We can maximize the energies of this period by pausing and reflecting before we light up the world with our creativity, energy, brilliance…it’s time to take a breath, savor, connect to that which guides us, and seek out light in the darkness. As the lazy days of Summer are now at full capacity, we can find some shade and observe how we feel, what we think, what we hear and say, and trust that good things will rise out of the ashes.

Hope you enjoy a yummy garden feast today, or at least savor many morsels with delight.

May your heart be filled with gratitude during this season of new harvest!

Build Rapport, Stay Engaged

Building Rapport, Staying Engaged
By Lisa Olcese, MS

Getting stuck in some heated conversations, political or otherwise? It seems that we are feeling more divided than ever before, which increases the urgency to build bridges across our differences if we are to create the world we want for ourselves and for future generations.

Here are 3 strategies to help you build rapport, stay engaged and avoid burning out:

  1. Become aware of your inner states – your feelings, reactions, body sensations – before you erupt or implode. Develop mindful self-compassion and self-rapport. This is a daily practice.
  2. Learn the basics of nonverbal communication. When you increase your behavioral flexibility to attend to other aspects of what’s being communicated, including and beyond the content, a kind of magic can occur. This is a learned skill.
  3. Share what’s true for you. Facts are important, and checking your sources is good practice. But often we lose sight of conveying what’s at stake for us in those facts. This is about communicating your values – and while it increases our vulnerability, it can also extend a bridge to understanding.

For many of us, these conversations are not merely an intellectual exercise – our greatest hopes, fears, assumptions and projections are intertwined with our desire to understand and be understood. Our relationships – with colleagues and loved ones alike – provide a platform from which to explore the topics that seem to divide us. When we can be vulnerable enough to risk sharing both our opinions and what informs our opinions, real dialogue starts to take place. Mindfully attending to how we stay engaged can leave us feeling more energized, curious and connected in the end.

Try it. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Stay Engaged: How to Have Influence Without Burning Out, taught by Lisa Olcese, MS, certified Executive Coach and Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, is an interactive workshop that will help you build skills and experience more productive, meaningful conversations with the people in your life.  The next session of this class is April 8, 2017.

Didn’t Get Much Sleep Last Night? Stop Talking About It!

About 10 years ago, I was at a 3-week training to become a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). This was an important milestone for me because I had studied NLP for about a decade and had finally committed to formally advancing my studies. I have a habit (or maybe it’s an identity) of being a Good Student, so after a night of tossing and turning, I woke up exhausted. I worried that everyone else would be able to tell just how fatigued I was, so I decided to pre-emptively tell the instructor “not to expect too much from me, because I didn’t get much sleep.” He looked at me, bored (this is when I learned that talking about one’s sleep habits does not make for clever conversation), but after a pause  said: “You’ll sleep tonight, won’t you? Stop telling yourself you’re tired. You’re just reinforcing the programming.”

What??!

And yet his blunt response made perfect sense to me. He didn’t say “Pshaw. You’re not tired” (denial) or  “Get over yourself, you whiny baby” (blame/shame) – he simply gave me a new way to think about my fatigue, and how my words – both to him but more importantly, to myself – were reinforcing exactly that which was uncomfortable.

So here’s the tip:

If you didn’t get much sleep last night, and you woke up tired, and you’re unable to spend a few extra hours in bed because you have a Busy Life awaiting your participation, do not speak of it. Not to your friends, your family, your Facebook followers, your journal, your cat….zip it. Because the more you focus on how “tired” your are, the more you’re reinforcing the fatigue. And odds are good that you’ll be able to give it another try in 14-16 hours.

Do take care of yourself. Do move intentionally, drink lots of water and show up as best you can. Meditation helps. And if it’s affecting your health and safety overall, see a professional. The internet is filled with advice on this very subject. For me, however, this tiny tip was most effective: just stop the internal/external narration about your sleep deficit. I do this regularly, with great results.

Let me know how it goes for you!