Hello Dear Ones, it’s been quite the year hasn’t it? I hope you and those you care about are doing as best as you can during this time.
This year definitely hasn’t been an easy one for me, but I’m getting through it. I have a new job, new place to live, new fuzzy roommates, and new anxieties on top of all the other ones. The last few months have really been a recalibration for me, understanding what it is that I really need, understanding my energy levels, prioritizing my actions, and being really okay if I can’t get through everything. Some days I have more energy than others and on those days I try to get ahead a little bit and set things up so Future Me has an easier day.
Book of My Shadows for 2021 — coming soon!!
One thing I wish I had this year was a Book of My Shadows for 2020. I didn’t write one last year because, well, it was a hard year, too, in very different ways. I could have used it this year as one way to ground and orient myself while I do my work. I’m happy to report that I’m feeling more like myself, taking the time that I need, and have felt inspired to write. I’m just about done with Book of My Shadows for 2021 and I expect to ship physical copies the first week of December! You can preorder your copy today in my store or by clicking here.
Ride that wave
What transformations have you had this year? This year I’ve learned to ease expectations. I’ve always kept my expectations low in general, in part to prevent disappointment, another part to let go of control, but this year really has just been riding the wave and seeing where I end up. I’ve also shifted my perspective from being an unwilling passenger on the wave towards oblivion to being the captain of the ship. I’m still going wherever this wave is taking me but choosing to have a say in how I react and respond. I’m choosing to find things to be grateful for every day and allowing myself to feel personal joy at the same time I feel collective anxiety and sorrow.
How are you celebrating your transformations? Take some time today to celebrate yourself in some way!
I hope you and those you care about are well. I’m hanging in there. The days of the pandemic have been a roller coaster for me, as I’m sure they have for all of us. My personal experience seems to go like this:
Day A: Existential dread. No joy, no hope, no fucks to give. No new reasons for this to happen, it just does.
Day B: Less dread, the idea of hope, I find a fuck in a cabinet I hadn’t opened in a while.
Day C: Wake up in a good mood only to have that mood squished by life
Day D: Sleep most of the day and withdraw from everything and everyone
Day E: Wake up feeling okay, on the lookout for life to squish the okay feeling, it doesn’t happen. Make some plans to chat with friends.
Then back to Day A. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
I’ve been learning to cope with my existential dread for a few years, now. Massive amounts of therapy and life coaching have helped me change the way I think about my life and my self which has allowed me to a big and bold steps to accomplish things I’ve always been too afraid to do, or felt that I didn’t deserve.
The next phase of all of this work was to rewire my nervous system so it wasn’t always in fight/flight/freeze/faun mode. I needed change my thinking to be able to do the things to show myself that I could survive the scary things, and that hey, these things weren’t actually scary.
But then some real scary shit happened on a global scale. My nervous system basically turned into the voice of Zack de la Rocha screaming, “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me!”
Which is not helpful. I mean, it is, because it is my body’s way of saying, “I’m not letting down my guard because I’m protecting you so we can survive this thing!” But this rise in anxiety has left me exhausted, disconnected, and honestly feeling like complete shit.
I woke up feeling great the other morning, only to have the tasks of everyday life fill me with agitation and annoyance. I talked with one of my life coaches (it takes a village) about this yesterday and she said it was probably because the default state of my nervous system is to be on edge and ready for something to happen. She suggested that training my body to accept a different default state could help prevent my mood from souring when things go off kilter, as the are wont to do. It should also help me from sabotaging the good days by raining on my own parade before someone or something else does.
To do this, I have put to put my body in a calm state to show myself that I can be safe in it. I must acknowledge when I am in a calm state, and to do this I have to be aware of the calmness. If you are interested in trying something similar, here’s what I will attempt to do at least a few times a day (but forgive myself if I don’t).
Mindfulness activities. Mindfulness has been huge in helping learn self-regulation and self-awareness. I’m someone who feels very deeply (even if I don’t always show it) and I react to the feels that I have. But feelings aren’t facts, they are data, and it’s more important for me to understand what the feeling means than it is to react. Mindfulness activities help train my brain so I can become aware of when I’m feeling calm and take note of it. Here are some fun mindfulness activities, while these are written for kids, anyone can benefit from them.
Learning what “calm” actually means to me. I just searched for “what’s it like to feel calm?” and this feeling seems to be hard to pin down. The search results were along the lines of “how to soothe anxiety” and even the very definition of “calmness” is, “the state or quality of being free from agitation or strong emotion.” But what does that mean? So what I’ll do is journal about the feelings and sensations I experience when I think I am calm.
Prove that I am safe when I am in this calm state. I will look for the tigers and show myself that the only one is my stuffed animal I have had since I was 5 years old, and he’s been trained for snuggling and not tearing out my jugular. I live alone, so I will tell myself that no one will come through my door in a dysregulated mood. I’ll feel my heart beat and my lungs breathe to show myself that I am surviving this calmness.
Today’s Scorpio Full Moon is giving us the power to define who we want to become. Everything around us seems to be burning down, but we can decide how we want to rise up from our ashes. I want my default state to be “calm” instead of always on edge and anxious. And I can start doing the work (and GOOD GOD will it be work!) now to get myself to that state of calmness.
What are some things that you can do feel calmness? Is calmness even the sensation you’d like to become your default? I’m sure this something that varies for many of us! I’m curious to know what you think. What’s your default state and is there a state you’d like to have instead? What activities can you do today to get you closer to that preferred state?
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to those who know me that I’m
in love with the Scorpio New Moon. Even though my own Moon sign is in Virgo, it’s
in my 8th house, which is the house ruled by Scorpio. I have, indeed, been
called too passionate, too intense, too much, and I’m finally at a point in my
life where I’m like, “Fuck yeah I am!” If I can’t put my blood, sweat, and
tears into something I generally don’t believe it’s worth doing (though I do know
that there are lots of things worth doing that don’t require every drop of my
soul, but I digress).
I’ve been through a lot this year. Past few years. This
lifetime. Probably the last few lifetimes. You probably have, too. This New
Moon let’s take a look at all the progress that we’ve made and step into this
next phase like an enraged Scorpio who just set fire to their ex lover’s car. I
generally dislike using these negative tropes because I feel like we Scorpios
get a really bad rap, but the feeling I’m looking to embody is one of knowing that,
while we’re not perfect, we can totally own our flaws AND all the badassery
that is in every single one of our cells at the same damn time.
Scorpio is the sign that rules initiations. While we
typically think of an initiation has a ceremony that has to take place to join
some sort of secret society, the word really just means “the action of
beginning something.” What if you took time to make your own initiation ritual?
You don’t have to experience something monumental to go through an initiation.
Besides, isn’t purposefully stepping into your daily life owning all of your
badassery monumental? There are 3 parts to a basic initiation:
Acknowledging who you have been
Acknowledging who you are now
Setting an intention for who you are becoming
What is something you can do for your initiation? You can do
this while making your morning coffee, taking your daily bath or shower, walking
your dog. Anything can become an initiation if you put the intention into it!
You were yesterday made you who you are today. Step into who
you’ll be tomorrow with full confidence that you are exactly where you are
supposed to be.
How have you been holding up so far this year? What have learned about yourself? What needs have you uncovered that haven’t been addressed or fully met? Today’s Scorpio Full Moon is here to help you make some space to help you meet your needs. Scorpio is an intense reminder of death and rebirth, the promise of beginning again, so take some time to figure out what you want/need to let go of so you can move into the next phase and onto bigger and better things. Use the prompts below to help figure out what to release and how.
What area of my life do I need to make space?
What do I need to release to make room?
What is a gentle way to help release this?
If you’re using tarot or another divination tool, draw 3 more cards that will help you with some steps to take to release this from your life.
This work is hard, so make sure you can find some support if you need it.
The Scorpio full moon is my favorite. I think a good part of the is because I am a Scorpio and many of us feel like any attention that we can get is good to have. Scorpio is the sign of death and rebirth and is all about transformation. Taurus, the sign the sun is in, has a completely opposite opinion and prefers stability. Moon in Scorpio is all about uprooting everything we know and challenging us to not get stuck in the mud where it’s safe and comfortable. Stability frequently means safety to many. Staying where we are means we know what is going to happen and we can prepare. Staying where we are means we won’t be rejected, make mistakes, or fail. But staying where we are keeps us from growing into our potential.
Where are you stuck today? I’m finding that the best way to learn where I’m stuck is to look at what is triggering me, or what is hurting my feelings or making me uncomfortable or upset. When many of us get triggered we get emotional, upset, and tend to try to take some sort of action to mitigate the trigger whether it’s helpful or hurtful. It’s important that we know what our triggers are so we can prepare ourselves for when we are triggered and hopefully take a more helpful approach.
To do this we must sit in discomfort. Which sucks. No one wants to feel uncomfortable and our brains have evolved to help protect us from discomfort. We classify and judge our surroundings so we can know the difference between what is typical and safe and where there might be danger. The problem is that we tend to react to every trigger thinking that it’s a tiger jumping out of the bushes when it’s most likely an event that we will be able to survive if we can stop and think. I’m not talking about serious life-and-death moments of safety, but those moments of interpersonal interaction that can get to us. It’s that feeling when someone you don’t like does something you disapprove of. It’s that feeling when someone close to you says something that hurts your feelings deeply. It’s those events that cause feelings we don’t want to have. When these things happen many of try to justify, fix, or ignore our discomfort without thinking about WHY we are reacting this way in the first place or to WHAT it is we are reacting.
Think about the last time something triggered you, it can be small, petty, or devastating. What happened when you were triggered? Was this the first time you were triggered in this way? Our triggers will remain our triggers until we can change our relationship with them, and we can’t change that relationship until you get to know it – just like any other relationship. I encourage you to think about that time you were triggered and ask yourself where the feelings you had came from. Why were you angry with the person you didn’t like? Did what they do put you in danger? Or did you disapprove? Why did you disapprove? Was it because you would feel shame yourself if you did that thing? Where does this shame even come from? Did someone like a parent tell you that you should feel this way if you did this thing? If you did that thing would it mean that you aren’t perfect yourself?
Shame is a discomfort that we all need to sit with. Imperfection is a discomfort that we all need to sit with. We go through our lives afraid to make mistakes and when we do make one, feel so much shame that we stop trying to grow or worse, try to cover up and hide our mistake so no one knows that we aren’t perfect. We seek validation that everything we are doing is right and likeable and feel like our lives and self-worth are invalidated when we do something wrong. I think we all need to own the fact that we aren’t perfect. We all know that no one is perfect and that people make mistakes. We are also probably very likely to forgive others of many of their mistakes. But our own mistakes? Let’s ignore them and pretend they never happened.
I challenge you to sit with your mistakes and journal about it. What’s the last thing you messed up? How did it feel? Why did it make you feel that way? What did you do about it? What do you wish you did about it? Did it make you feel insecure or afraid? What can you do for yourself to provide that security? The more we sit with our imperfections and the discomfort they bring, the more we can normalize those feelings so we don’t act as rashly or severely the next time we are triggered. It also helps us prepare for the next time we do make a mistake. The actions we take when we are triggered can severely hurt others and cause long lasting damage, and not just with our friends and family, but in society and the world. This isn’t easy work, but it is necessary work for growth.