I’m not sure what spell the Full Moon in Virgo has me under this year, but in my book for April 19 Libra Full Moon, I mention that we should have had a Virgo Full Moon but we have a second Libra Full Moon instead. It’s like a test from the gods on how well I can show the world that I make mistakes and not send myself down a shame spiral for not living up to my own ridiculous expectations. I see myself as a writer who is trying to establish authority on a subject that I do know a lot about, and the fear of losing credibility for silly mistakes would have been enough to keep me from writing and putting myself out there a year ago, but today I just acknowledge that I’m a human first, writer second. Thanks for putting up with my humanity!
The Moon will be full in Libra on the morning of April 19, about an hour and half before it dips into Scorpio. At the tail-end of this journey through Libra, the Moon presents us with two more sides to balance on its cosmic scale: how to charm and persuade on one side, how to recoil and push away on the other.
In my Muggle life, the topic of receiving feedback that’s difficult to hear has been surfacing in a lot of conversations lately. It’s interesting to see how people react differently when presented with ways in which they could grow. Some people can deliver a tough message and be met with thanks and gratitude. Others will be met with disagreement and conflict. When hearing critical feedback, and it’s easy to get defensive and combative because the part of our brain that oversees interpreting these conversations is the same one that’s responsible for our fight, flight, or freeze reactions. Awesome huh? This is why the thought of being critiqued can be so uncomfortable. Somewhere along the way of our human design, the least logical and most reactionary part of our brain was put in charge of these interpersonal communications that can make relationships awkward and strained.
What would Star Trek look like if the captain of the Enterprise, upon each new encounter with an unfamiliar ship, decided to shoot at it, run away, or stop and ignore it all together? I can see the crew turning to the captain and asking what the hell was going on. They’d ask questions and try to get the captain to think a little more about their actions before committing to them. They’d talk amongst themselves to try to understand the captain and try to think of ways to help them make more informed choices. And once they had some sort of a plan, they would send in the person who could appeal to the captain in the best way to begin a logical conversation.
When have you noticed your reactionary captain call the shots? What does that feel like in your body? What can you do to rally your crew to step in and apply some logic to the situation? The next time your reactionary captain takes over, see if you can enlist the help of your Number One to advise. What questions would they ask to learn more about the situation? How would they analyze the feedback? Is there a grain of truth? Are there any patterns from bits of feedback you have heard before? How would they asses the situation for danger in a way that acknowledges red flags without shooting them down? Doing these things will take us out of the reactionary parts of our brains and into the part that is able to process information logically.
On the flip side of conversation, who is in charge when you have to deliver critical feedback? Is your reactionary captain calling the shots? Or have you enlisted Number One who can deliver logical observations in tactful ways? Here are some important tips to consider when crafting a dialog to deliver an uncomfortable message:
Set the context. Understanding multiple sides to the story, different environment, histories of a situation, and other details can really help someone take a tough message a lot easier. Set the scene as best as you can, tell a story if you must. Sharing your perspective will help the other person see how their actions were misinterpreted and might help them be more self-aware in the future than just calling out something that they did as wrong.
Keep the discussion about the feedback. If you really want someone to hear critical feedback, don’t have a conversation about other things that can cause the person to forget details about message you are trying to deliver. It’s natural to want to help soothe the other person, and yourself, by offering positive feedback or ending the conversation talking about something happier, but this can dilute the message that you wanted the other person to hear.
Help create action items. Ask the person what they need to do better next time and how you can help them. Try to think of a few helpful ways that the person could do better the next time.
Blue Kyanite and Borage
Blue Kyanite is a great ally to have when we need to communicate. It helps us speak our truth with clarity and will aid in interpreting non-verbal communication such as body language. It’ll help you listen to the logical part of your brain and your intuition, so you are able to receive all the information needed to provide proper context for the situation that you are in.
Borage will help your environment feel peaceful and sooth your nervous system. It will give us the courage we need to do the hard work that must be done. Taking a borage flower essence every day for a month will help build your body’s capabilities to deal with stressful situations and that impending feeling of fear one might have before doing something hard, like having that difficult conversation.