Hard Truth with a Lime

My husband and I are “hashers”, my term for people who speak the truth about issues as they recognize them. Being upfront about what we see as reality generally serves us in that there is not a lot of tip-toeing around problems. Instead, we lay it all out on the table as soon as possible so we can resolve it as soon as possible. The conundrum with serving the truth straight up is that it is often taken as offense to emotional lightweights …and sometimes it’s our turn to be the lightweights.

One evening after a long day of work preceded by a long few weeks of balancing all the responsibilities of adult-ing with my goals and dreams, I went on an unexpected rant about lacking the energy or time for all the things I want to do in a day. My husband, with the best of intentions, made a remark that not only hurt my feelings but, for a moment, killed all my dreams and triggered a bunch of old woulds that suddenly bubbled to the surface in a rush. At first, I was furious, then I was sad. After a few hours, I recalled his exact words and realized he wasn’t entirely wrong. We later hashed it out in a conversation in which I got to express my displeasure with his word choice and appreciation of his honesty. He got to apologize and learned a lesson in the consequences of what and how one says things.

At some point in the day, or during our week, or in life we are not ready for hard truths without a chaser. There are moments I need it on the rocks (tough love) or prefer it in a hard cocktail with a lime – not quite sugar-coated but still easier to swallow. However, when we are too busy “keeping it 100”, we may miss the important cues of the receiver not being at the mental or emotional level required to toss back what your serving, regardless of how honest it is. This is where communication often breaks down.

There are some pretty common examples of how, in reference to the Chappelle Show, “keeping it real goes wrong.” Maybe we make a joke about someone else’s poor decision-making which can cause embarrassment and lead to anger and mistrust. Perhaps, we give unsolicited advice when the receiver is only looking for a supportive ear. Maybe the truth would have been more easily accepted had our word choice been less harsh. Of course, there are plenty of circumstances in which it’s up to the receiver to be mature enough to handle the message in spite of the delivery. Also, the intention of the hasher is another important factor which will hopefully be an intuitive guide whilst unveiling the listeners’ eyes.

Compassion is key whenever we are interacting with almost everyone. Sometimes situations call for toughness in the name of genuine concern but other times it calls for a milder touch. When we are truly aware, we can tell the difference, be wise in our approach and maybe someone will grant us the same consideration when we are on the other end.

So tell me …when was a time you went a bit too far with dishing out the truth? Or, when was the last time you were on the receiving end of an inconsiderate truth-teller? Please share in the comments section.

Namaste.

Forgiveness is an Act of Self Love

I think it’s safe to say that we that there is a “self-love” trend happening in which people are seeking wholeness for themselves by themselves. There is most certainly a positive connotation behind this as many of us are looking to making a change from the martyr mentality and hopeless devotion that we might have found ourselves programmed for in the past. I can relate. For decades, I slipped into false romances in which I was giving way more than what I was receiving and calling it love. Suppressing my true feelings and thoughts became the default as I quietly imploded into a depressed messed. Likely conditioned by my father’s unexplained absence and the dealings of my mother’s trauma, pouring my all into the efforts to be enough for others became a part of my identity. Needless to say, that didn’t last but there were noticeable moments in which that elevation started to turn southeast.

I, like so many of us now, began to awaken and see a better way to live. I, thankfully, had the help of pretty amazing friends, family, and my now husband; not to mention the endless motivational social media quotes and hashtags. However, as I became aware of things on a deeper level, I found myself judging people that did not. In criticizing their ignorance and immaturity, I was inadvertently displaying my own. My ego got in the way of me living the liberated life I really wanted. I separated myself and those who understand true love and compassion know separation is a major contradiction to that. We cannot fully love ourselves if we fail to love others for we are all the same and have been in the same shoes at some point in some way. When we forget this, we take steps backwards. The only way to continue to grow is to heal by way of forgiveness.

Truth be told, the hardest time I’ve had and still have are with my family. It’s difficult to forget where they fell short when I needed them the most and how much it hurt. In the short-term, it’s easier to be self-righteous in my resentment but the best thing I can do is realize where they are and love them there. Yes, even when they are not apologetic. Taking the steps to forgive are some of the hardest but probably the most loving thing you can do for yourself. Forgiveness bumps the ego out of the way. Long-term, forgiveness creates a space for us to learn the hard lessons in the sorrow of it all while developing compassion for others and therefore ourselves. This means that we can develop discernment and know when and how to act in a way that is best for us without carrying deadly hatred and fear in our being.

We cannot not properly conduct self love with hearts full hatred as it will inevitably backfire and manifest in everything we produce. Instead, we can acknowledge our pain and accept our perpetrators for where they are, even if we need to leave them there.

Namaste.

New Moon in Scorpio Reading

New moon, new beginnings! It’s time to really get deep with our dark side. This doesn’t necessarily mean summoning demons and wearing all black – although optional – but it does mean the need for much introspection. So much of our lives are an effect of various external causes but retrogrades and new moons are great time to see how we can cause our own lives!

Venus has been in retrograde since October 5, 2018 and will be until November 16, 2018. Venus is the ruler of love, harmony and beauty. When it appears to be going backwards in the sky in relation to the other planets, you can bet there will be emotional turmoil in our interpersonal relationships. The twist, though, is that the conflicts are likely due to something within our individual selves that require tweaking in order for outward harmony to be restored.

Uranus, the planet of rebellion and change, has been in retrograde since August 7, 2018 and will be until January 7, 2019. It’s opposition to Venus right now is also adding fuel to our interpersonal and internal fires.

Neptune has been in retrograde since June 6, 2018 and will be until November 24, 2018. Ruling intuition, idealism and spirituality, it’s position in Pisces, a water sign like Scorpio, is only adding to the chaos of emotions that may be experience now. The think about enlightenment is that spiritual growing pains are very real. Self care is extremely important now.

Now for the astrological planet we’ve all be waiting for: Luna.

Scorpio lunar season means deep emotional intensity and insight.  The moon already relating to the watery flow of emotions, it’s position in a fixed water sign only adds emphasis to the focus on where we are stuck emotionally. As Scorpio puts value on privacy, we should try not to focus so much on everyone else as much as our own emotional health.

Here is what the cards say we can learn from this lunar season:

4 Tips I Learned for Supporting Another Depressive

Approximately 14.8 million Americans suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. That’s nearly 7 percent of the U.S. population and it only takes into account those who have been officially diagnosed. This does not account for the seemingly functional adults who deal with depression regularly but manage it on their own nor the many unknowns who have no idea they should be seeking help. With these considerations, the likelihood is that if we do not experience clinical depression ourselves, we know someone who does. The most significant person in my life, my husband, is one of those people.

So am I.

As you can imagine, this set up has high potential for emotional explosions and implosions. Believe me, we have been through our share. Fortunately, we have been able to not just survive but thrive as a couple in many way because of our approach to each other struggle. We are not always successful in our execution but we have picked on some valuable tools along the way with one another one.

Here are are some tips to help each other deal with depression:

Give each other space to be depressed.

My husband and I have both learned this the hard way. I recall a time I would put too much pressure on myself to be the one who could keep my guy happy; if he were down, I felt it my job to cheer him up as quickly as possible. When I failed, my own sadness was triggered, putting pressure on him to support me. This, of course, made him feel like he had to mask his depression for my safety which only made his situation worse. On the flip side, my husband is sometimes a tough love kind of guy which didn’t always give me the space to be in my sadness. Needless to say, this didn’t work for us long-term.

When our loved ones are hurting, it is natural for us to want to run to their rescue. We want them to feel supported and let them know there is no reason to be upset on your watch. However, the reality is often that people need a chance to feel what they are feeling, even if it’s irrational, and even when they know they are supported by you.

Communication is key.

The emphasis on communication may sound cliche but that doesn’t make it less true. No matter how well you know your loved ones,  you cannot read their minds. Sure, we sometimes develop a knack for recognizing the predictability of their personality but so often do deep thoughts and feelings go unsaid and even completely hidden away. When suppressed long enough, seemingly explainable behavior patterns may develop as a result which can have negative consequences of their own. This requires not only for the us to listen better and be more attentive when our depressed beloved does speak or show signs but also for our us who are suffering to find the time and courage to speak with the opportunity presents itself.

Be patient. Give growth time.

Even when we have the tools to cope and comfort we will run into moments in which those tools seem useless. Some days, a good yoga session, healthy meal or comedy show may do the trick. Other days, it’s a good cry or a chance wallow in the sadness. You may even fell like depression is completely behind you in one moment, only to be faced with an abrupt emotional decline the next. It’s important to know that not everything works every time.

Use the tools in your joint wellness arsenal when you can but don’t feel all is lost if a method is not producing the same positive response. Tenacity and patience will help with bounce-back when motivation falls short; the more you practice the easier it gets later. Remember there is not reason to rush as life is a marathon, not a race. As long as you are moving, if even a little, you can and will be okay if you keep it up.

Lastly …

Do not create expectation out of comparison.

I’m totally guilty of having the thought, “If we could just do [insert activity] like [insert another person’s success story], we would be so much better off.”

Seeking hope from other stories of overcoming can be an inspiration and uplifting. All the same, it can be very damaging. We see it all the time in other scenarios, from weight loss to career building – especially on social media. So badly do we want the fairy tale ending of someone else’s story without having all the facts when the truth is there is no such thing as an ending. As long as someone is alive, they are going to experience hard times, what works for them may not work for you, and your story may not look like the illusion of their story. Comparing the process and progress of another to our own or someone we know and love creates further heaviness around the ebbs and flows of the other journey to be had.

Stay in your lane.

Namaste.

 

Taurus Full Moon & Venus-Uranus Opposition Reading October 2018

I am usually pretty introspective already but the current energy in the air is calling me to take a look at who I am and what I desire in terms in interrelations. Taurus moon makes it a great time to get grounded and centered. This make take a lot of discipline as our stubbornness may get in the way, however, our stubbornness may be exactly the thing to help make us clear about what we want out of life.

Venus, the brightest star in the heavens, represents beauty, magnetism, money and love. Our interrelationships are affected by the positions of this planet as it amplifies and makes us take notice of our desires be they material or personal. In its current retrograde state, meaning that it appears to be orbiting backwards in relation to the surrounding bodies, we are being forced to take a step back and look at our lives from a new perspective – especially in the areas of romance and finance. Fortunately and unfortunately, this can mean a rise of impatience as we become more clear about what we want from our partners, ourselves and the world around us.

To top it off, Uranus is making its way in opposition to Venus. Uranus is the planet of independence, spiritual growth and eccentricity. It represents innovative progression and rebellion against the status quo. As opposing positions tend to mark a time of conflict for the sake of progress, Uranus is adding to our being pushed toward seeing our situations in a new light. Upheaval is often necessary for healing and forward movement and as full moons are a time for release, we should take note of what we can change in order to make steps towards our desired future.

Unpacking Pain

Watered-down, Westernized spirituality has many of us thinking that growth means that we never get sad or angry but if we do, a simple meditation or yoga session will work that right out. Out of compassion for myself and others, I call bullshit. Truth is, much of the wisdom we gain on the road towards ascendance comes from allowing ourselves to dig deep into our hurt spaces and fully feel whatever is bubbling up from them. Even the wounds that have scabbed over or scarred can carry some form of underlying trauma we may or may not have acknowledged or even noticed. I can almost guarantee that for most of us, though, it’s there.

So many of us have become masters of getting by, an effective method for immediate survival. My mom, my sole provider and full-time working woman who couldn’t run to my aid whenever I was ill or hurt, taught me early on that when situations become inconvenient we “tough it out”. However, masking those bruised feelings (or bodies) will not prove sustainable forever.  At some point, we have to heal our shit and it may take a longer than we expect. In the words of Mary DeMuth, “Healing is layers. Healing is time. Healing is excruciating. Once you think it’s done, it’s not.”

“Healing is layers. Healing is time. Healing is excruciating. Once you think it’s done, it’s not” ~Mary DeMuth

As aware of as I am of the necessity of truly dealing with my problems, I am still often surprised at how deep some of my wounds really go or how good I’ve gotten at being functionally dysfunctional all this time; so much so, I didn’t know I had a particular problem until someone else brought it to my attention. Other times, these revelations occurred to me after finding myself worn out in repeated patterns of unwanted circumstances that forced me to look at what I was doing to cause them (also known as “learning the hard way”).

The thing about carrying wounds in today’s world, is that they are easier to mask. Not only do we have access to the vices of our parents’ era (drugs, sex and alcohol), we also have personal technological devices that help and even encourage us to airbrush the scars away after we are done proverbially cutting ourselves. But, imagine the liberation of dropping the weight of it all. Picture yourself embracing your overall beauty without filters. Only then can we actually get in touch with our inner spirits and ascend to true healing.

Namaste.

Intention Over Expectation

The common programming that takes place almost the moment we are cognizant is what we should expect out of people and situations. Helpful in many ways and often influenced by the trends of our culture and subcultures, these ideas take on a particular form that so happens to shape how we perceive the entire universe or at least our life’s journey.

While our optimism is still intact, our expectations tend to be pretty pleasant. We expect our parents to provide for us. We expect our partners to be faithful. We expect things to fall into place. We expect Earth to forever continue floating in space. Then, life continues to unfold, we fall victim to inevitable circumstances and our expectations begin to shift.

Suddenly, we begin to expect our parents’ disapproval and unfaithful lovers. We expect to fall short on achievement. Somewhere along the winding road, we might even expect the Earth, in all its vastness, to come imploding in on itself – in perfect alignment with the chaos we have to come to know as our existence. So, in spite of all the unfortunate happenstances that actually do occur, what separates the survivors from the thrivers? Intention.

Intention is about visualizing where to aim and never loosing sight of the goal, even if the target is missed. If every successful business person quit whenever things didn’t go as expected, there would be no successful businesses. If you ceased applying effort towards your goals in life every time something went wrong, although alive, it would be safe to say you would not have actually done much living.

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Expectations are usually the glue that keep up stuck in unnecessarily painful situations. We expect everyone to agree with our opinion so we become enraged when they do not. We expect happiness will somehow find us when we buy something new or switch jobs. Or, we just just know our spouses will forever be true to us no matter what. This is not to say that we should not implement healthy boundaries and standards but the truth is that nothing is certain.

The older I get, the more the things I’ve always known to be true are debunked, the more I run into new opposing views and obstacles.  What I have found is that regardless of my predictions and assumptions, life does not always match up. I learned the hard way that slow and steady does not always win the race and sometimes the apple falls very far from the tree – common and often true conceptions. And although sometimes initially jarring, instead of allowing these realizations to cause upset, I embrace them as new truths to inform the “how” of my intentions.

Hard times come and go just as much as the good times. It’s what you do with each moment that makes the difference. When we hold on to what we “expect”, we will find ourselves disappointed more times than not as life was never meant to be entirely predictable. Where’s the fun in that after all? The ebbs and flows of life are what make us who we are. We can learn a lot about ourselves based on how we handle each present moment as it comes without the stronghold of expectation but rather with the tides of intention. You just might surprise yourself and end up steering your experience down the seas of the unexpected of so much more than you could have ever imagined.

Namaste.