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2017 Needs to Go, Like NOW

I think we can all agree that 2017 has been – for lack of a more polite term – a real shitstorm, yes?

Some of it is good and powerful and wonderful and has got to happen. For the forest to return full and vibrant, some stuff has got to burn down. And, oh boy, is there some stuff burning down.

More needs to go and it hurts. But it needs to happen.

Wounds need cleaning before they heal. I know, so much pretty imagery this morning. This might be why I’m better with nonfiction than fiction. I’m no poet.

BUT. There are some things coming up energetically this weekend that are big, big, big.

The full moon this month and Mercury retrograde coincide on the 3rd. This is HUGE.

The full moon is all about releasing and this one will be a supermoon. Awesome time to do all the releasing you need to do. In fact, since it’s close to the end of the year, consider using your ritual this weekend to release not only things you wanted to release for the past month, but also consider releasing 2017. You’ve probably got more that you want to release than you should all at once, anyway, and you still have time to do a second release for 2017 later in December.

But there’s also Mercury going into retrograde for a time. We’re in the shadow now, but we’ll feel the fuller effects on the 3rd. Here’s the thing. Don’t be scared of Mercury in retrograde. Yes, you should be careful with big decisions, etc., but look at it for what it is. It’s a time to slow down, to reflect, to refresh. In fact, if the word starts with the prefix “re-” then you should consider doing it. I’ve talked about Mercury in retrograde before, and perhaps some of those tips will help you now.

Breathe and GROUND. Breathe and ground. All will be well.

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Fall Self-Care Ideas to Finish Out the Year

We’re over a month into autumn, now, so what better time to talk about fall self-care, right? Better late than never.

fall self-care

Self-care is something that you should pay attention to all year long, of course, but there’s something about fall that inspires me to think about it a little more critically. Some of the things you do for yourself for fall self-care might be a little different than the rest of the year, and that can be a a good thing.

Disclosure Announcement: Some of my posts contain affiliate links that I’ll clearly designate, which means that I earn a small amount back if you click through my link and purchase something. It doesn’t cost you any more and helps me to keep my site going. That commission doesn’t affect my opinion about whatever I’m recommending.

What Makes Fall Self-care Different?

For the purposes of this topic, it’s probably important to note that I’m in the southeastern part of the United States. Your weather and your experience at this time of year might be different.

Where I live, fall is finally starting to make itself known. The leaves are finally changing, the weather is getting cooler (for the most part), and the Christmas decorations have been out in stores since August. (Whole other issue there.)

It’s also a time of year when I personally start experiencing fall allergies, might get sick more often, and just generally feel more run down.  I’ve gotten through the hot, humid depths of summer and I’m ready to shed all of that — much like the trees are shedding their leaves — and let a newer version of me out.

Paying attention to what I’m doing to care for myself at this time helps me to do all of that.

What Qualifies?

Here’s where we start to have fun. There are people who will tell you that fall self-care — and any self-care, for that matter — consists of specific tasks and to dos or it doesn’t count. I’m not going to be that dictatorial with you. In the end, whatever helps you to feel better and loved by yourself is self-care, even if that means that you’re just paying attention and not necessarily doing one particular thing.

That said, if you need or want some ideas to help you map out your fall self-care plan, I’ve got some.

Start a Gratitude Journal

I’m a huge fan of journaling in general and gratitude journaling in particular. Focusing on what you’re grateful for helps you to shift your mindset, particularly if you’re feeling a lot of lack right now. This isn’t about ignoring what you’re truly lacking or in need of, by the way. It’s about noticing and acknowledging that you do have plenty to be grateful for already and you can work toward having more to feel grateful for. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. You can jot one to three words on scrap paper and it’s a gratitude journal.

If you’re interested in journaling in general, especially in order to do some shadow work and to get deeply into some issues that have been bothering you, I highly recommend {affiliate link alert} Gwynne Michele’s book Bitchslap Journaling. [Aside: It’s part of the {another affiliate link} Kindle Unlimited program and you don’t have to have a Kindle to be able to read it. (If you sign up at that affiliate link, you can get a 30-day trial of Kindle Unlimited and I’ll get a small reward from Amazon.)]

Bitchslap Journaling is not for the faint of heart, I must warn you. But what you *can* do is start out easy with it and delve deeper as you feel able to do so.

Purge Some Stuff

Mother Nature is purging some stuff, at least here in the southeastern United States, and fall self-care is a good time to purge some stuff, too.

Fall tends to be when I get a lot better about keeping my email inbox under a couple hundred emails at a time, for example. It’s also when my computer’s desktop is a bit cleaner.

Something new that I’ve tried this year is a social media cleanup. I’m debating deleting some accounts that I no longer use, such as my Twitter account, and I recently did a radical thing on Facebook. I killed my newsfeed.

A couple of months ago I installed the Social Fixer plugin and that helped a lot. Then I ran across this article about Facebook and how it keeps us locked into it all day, every day and installed News Feed Eradicator. Most of us are fairly aware of the fact that Facebook is manipulating us, but that article helps to lay it all out and it’s fascinating. Meanwhile, I’m in love with News Feed Eradicator.

Rest

Rest is underrated. In western societies, it’s even regarded as lazy. Start learning what your body needs and give it what it needs when you can. If you can rest, do so. You don’t have to spend every moment of every day running at full speed. In fact, if you do, you’re going to burn yourself out.

Go Outside

Fall self-care is the perfect time for you to go outside more often. It’s cooler here than it has been, which means that it’s so much nicer to be outside. Get some fresh air and enjoy what you can of your surroundings before the super cold weather gets here and you’re trapped inside. Being outside more often is also a great way to make sure that you’re getting more vitamin D naturally.

Ground, Ground, Ground

I’m a huge fan of grounding. We lead such scattered lives and our attention is demanded in so many different directions that it’s easy to lose your mooring. Grounding is a way to get it back. There are plenty of essential oils and crystals you can use for grounding, which I detailed in this linked post. There are also a ton of other ways listed over there that you can ground.

Hopefully some of these fall self-care ideas work for you.

What are some of your favorite self-care ideas for this time of year? Comment below!

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Your Root Chakra: Fixing It When It’s Out of Balance

Let’s talk about your root chakra, shall we?

Quick note – this is not perfect or comprehensive. This is what’s occurring to me now to share with you in a moment of my own crisis. If I’ve missed something big, please feel free to leave a comment.

Your root chakra is at the base of all your chakras. It’s responsible for your spine, your feet, your kidneys, and way more. It’s also closely tied to your feelings of safety and security.

root chakra

Your root chakra is associated with the color red primarily, and meditating on or surrounding yourself with the color red can help you to realign your root chakra.

When your root chakra is working as it should, you’re confident and secure with in your place in the world. When it isn’t, you’re likely to experience a variety of issues.

Out of Balance or Blocked Root Chakra

When your root chakra is out of balance or blocked, you’re likely to be angry, insecure, and just feel as if you’re constantly on the edge of fight or flight. You might also have physical pain, especially in your lower back. Modern Western medicine is quick to dismiss the chakra system, but some physicians are opening up to the possibilities that this area, the lower back and sacral area in particular, have some ties to how you’re feeling on an emotional level.

Why Tell You This Today?

Let me tell you something before we get to fixing imbalances.

I woke up today angry. Not just angry, but absolutely furious at my deepest core. This past weekend’s events in Charlottesville, VA were horrifying and evil. Not unsurprising, unfortunately, considering that white supremacy and racism are the very foundations upon which this nation was built.

And this needs to change. “Smash the white supremacist patriarchy” is on my to do list every single day. Every day. Marginalized groups everywhere have to deal with this every day and if you’re white? It’s now your fight, too.

So yesterday, when Tangerine Nightmare stood in front of a bank of reporters and claimed that counter-protesters were violent and that white supremacists were really great folks, I lost my grip a bit on reality. I have never been so angry in my life.

WE MUST DO BETTER. And when I woke up just as angry with my lower back aching and screaming, I knew I had to get a grip or I would be useless.

If you are angry, you have to be able to channel that anger into action. That’s what anger is really good for: Serving as fuel for the action that is to come.

Now, let’s get that anger moving in the right direction.

Let’s talk about your root chakra, shall we? Click To Tweet

What Worked for Me Today

You’ve got a lot more tools available to you for an imbalanced/blocked root chakra than you think.

Here’s what I did this morning:

  • I took a bath in Epsom salts.
  • I infused the bath with Reiki.
  • I meditated, focusing on a red flame in my root chakra. At first, it was small, like a pilot light. My guides whispered, “Bigger. Bigger.” And it became a bank of red flames. Gorgeous stuff.
  • I did some SoulClicks meditating. [See also: Get your own SoulClicks activation.]
  • I remembered that we are living in the Time of Towers and I visualized a better world. Destruction must come before rebuilding, but it’s hard. So hard. I know that I am here for a reason, even if I don’t fully understand that reason yet.

By the time I left the salt bath, I wasn’t just calmer. My back didn’t hurt anymore and I could think clearly. The fire in my root has direction.

Now, just because this worked for me today, that doesn’t mean it would work for me every time my root chakra is out of whack.

Fixing Imbalances in Your Root Chakra

There is SO much you can do for a blocked root chakra.

Mantras and Affirmations

Mantras and affirmations give your brain something to settle on and to hold while you center yourself. Used regularly, they can even be the source of your centering. Mantras to use for your root chakra:

  • I am safe.
  • I am grounded.
  • I have all that I need.
  • I am at peace within my surroundings.
  • I trust.
  • I stand in my power.
  • I am connected.
  • I am abundant.

Crystals

In general, you’re going to want grounding stones, like hematite, black tourmaline, smokey quartz. Also, red stones work wonders. Red jasper, red carnelian, garnet, ruby. Don’t have one of these crystals available? Search for a picture and invite the stone in the picture to help you. May seem woo woo, but it can work, so don’t knock it.

Essential Oils

You can get all complicated with this or simply put a few drops of the oil you choose from this list into an inhaler. {affiliate link} When you need extra help, take a few deep breaths from the inhaler. So, oils:

  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Sandalwood
  • Cedarwood
  • Ylang ylang
  • Rosemary
  • Patchouli
  • Palo santo

Grounding/Earthing

So many people make this so complicated. It doesn’t have to be. Go sit outside. Plant your butt or your feet directly on the earth and just be for a few minutes. If you’re lucky enough to have a wooded area, go deeply into it. Can’t do any of that? Close your eyes and imagine roots going deep into the earth. Don’t have time for that or you’re doing something like driving? Put your hand over your heart and take five or six super deep breaths.

Salt Cleansing

Salt is incredibly cleansing, particularly in terms of energy. That link is to a search for different options for energetic cleansing with salt. Most people recommend sea salt, but Epsom salts work fantastically well. Also, most people are deficient in magnesium and could use a dunk in Epsom salts now and again.

Energy Brushing

In a pinch, brushing the energy of your aura can help you to do some good for your root and other chakras. Start with a hand at the base of your belly, a few inches under your belly button. Hold your hands parallel to your body, about an inch or two away, and sweep upwards and outwards. You’re disrupting the flow and helping to create a more positive flow of energy.

Meditation

Meditating can do so, so much for you. It calms your brain and allows you to focus. But it’s not difficult. Sit in a quiet, comfortable spot. Clear your brain as much as you can and focus on your breathing. When a thought pops in, not if – when, refocus on your breathing. The idea here isn’t that you’re going to fully clear your brain, because you won’t. What you’re doing is giving your brain a break. It gets easier, so stick with it. Also, if you’re new to meditating, don’t go for a half hour out of the gate. Start with a minute. Two minutes. Work your way up.

Energy Healing and Clearing

Use Reiki, if you can, to help clear your energy. So many practitioners, me included, offer free group Reiki sessions. I offer a free mid-month Reiki group session every month over on my Facebook page. Stop by, click “Going,” and you’re signed up. If you need more intensive Reiki, let me know. There are tons of other options, such as SoulClicks. Gwynne explains it so much better than I could, so read her post about her unique energy system. Find what works for you and what you love.

Dance, Move, Get Active

The root chakra is your base, your root. It’s all about movement and physicality. Move, get active. Do whatever is within your ability to do. Have an impromptu dance party with your favorite music. Go for a run. Do yoga or Pilates. Do something active.

Meet Your Physical Needs

Remember, the root chakra is all about security, safety. If your needs aren’t being met, you’re not going to feel safe and secure. Have you eaten? When did you last have a big glass of water? Look for whatever physical needs you need to meet now and solve those issues if at all possible.

There’s more. There’s so much more, but this is already so very long. These basics should help you get started. Remember: Your root chakra is your base. If it’s out of balance and not working properly, the rest of you will have a difficult time functioning.

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The Problem with Being Too Positive

Is being too positive really a problem? More and more coaches and spiritual folk seem to be telling their followers that the only way to achieve higher vibrations is to remain positive all the time, no matter what. And if you’re not, you’re the problem, the block, the thing keeping you from abundance. This is artificial positivity.

Death - but not the physical kind.Aside:

I do a daily card pull, sometimes oracle cards, sometimes tarot cards. Today’s card was Death. It’s scary for a lot of people, but it’s not referring to actual, physical death. This card most often references transformation, rebirth, and moving on. It can be representative of embracing all of the aspects of yourself and your psyche, the good and the bad, which allows you to have the room for spiritual growth. I drew the card after writing this post, and it was too synchronous not to include it within the post.

Back to the topic at hand.

“But, wait, too positive?” you might be asking.

If you’re following a lot of different FLEB folks, it might just be considered the height of ascension, honestly. Kelly is far more eloquent than I on the subject of the Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand, so I encourage you to check out that post and many others throughout her site.

In a nutshell, many of the people espousing this belief system might shame you or tsk at you if you express even the slightest bit of negativity at any point. Because positivity will lead you to the promised land of abundance and your true, full life here in this reality.

The problem that I (and many others) see with this way of thinking is that it doesn’t leave much room for realism and pragmatic thinking. If you focus solely on the positive and never venture into some of the negatives, how will you ever understand all of the lessons this life is here to teach you?

As Gwynne points out:

What you ignore festers. What you refuse to confront because it’s in the dark scary places of your soul rots and mutates until you no longer recognize it as part of yourself, even though it is, always was, and always will be.”

You can read the full post on Gwynne’s profile – it’s definitely worth the visit for the truth bombs that she drops throughout.

Call it shadow work, call it mirror work, call it whatever you like. This type of deep delving is essential if you’re ever going to get whatever it is that you’re striving for.

We all want to get to that Nirvana of receiving all that the Universe has to shower down upon us, but it’s not all glitter and girlboss. There’s a lot of shit you’ll have to slog through, too, if you’re being true to yourself and to your soul work.

When you ignore the other side of the coin, does it matter what you’re really being so positive about?

That positive energy is never going to live up to its full potential if you can’t deal with any of the negative flip sides that are following you around.

Reality doesn’t go away because you only want to see the butterflies and unicorns. The butterflies and unicorns are fantastic, but they don’t exist in a vacuum.

Reality doesn't go away because you only want to see the butterflies and unicorns. The butterflies and unicorns are fantastic, but they don't exist in a vacuum. Click To Tweet

Don’t ignore your full reality because some “guru” or coach is telling you that you have to only be positive. If someone is shaming you for facing your reality head on, that person is not looking out for your best interests, no matter how much you’ve paid that person. There’s more work to do than simply reframing your thinking to keep it positive.

Positivity and encouraging positive thoughts completely has its place, but it isn’t everything.

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Get Yourself Grounded – A Little Bit of Why, Much More How

But why should you get grounded? Yeah, that’s a long answer. Let’s shortcut it a bit and I’ll say that grounding is all about helping yourself feel safe, secure, and rooted into the here and now. So it’s great when you’re feeling scattered or flighty or unsafe.

You can go through some complicated moves to get yourself grounded. You can do 20-minute guided meditations that walk you through a lush forest in the height of spring and get all kinds of grounded and that’s groovy. But if you’re grounding because you’re having an anxiety attack? Trust me when I tell you that you need something faster.

Grounding is all about helping yourself feel safe, secure, and rooted into the here and now. Click To Tweet

So, here are some of my favorite quick ways to get grounded. Many of these you can do anywhere at any time.

1. Go Outside

Easy enough, this one. Go outside, if you can. Stand in the grass, put your hand on a tree, get barefoot. You don’t have to wait long for this to kick in. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and let Nature do some work. If you have some extra time, while you’re standing amongst Nature with your eyes closed, try to visualize roots sprouting from your feet, deep into the earth. Literally root yourself. 

2. Hand Over Heart

This one is perfect when you can’t get outside and you really don’t have the wherewithal to visualize much of anything. Put your hand over your heart and take five slow, deep breaths. The deep breathing and the hand over your heart work together to ground and calm you right away.

3. Crystals, Rocks, Stones

I’m a crystal hound, so this is one of my absolute favorite ways to ground. If you’ve got crystals available, take advantage. Some of the best for grounding:

 Hematite
 Black tourmaline
 Smoky topaz
 Smoky quartz
 Obsidian
 Onyx
 Clear quartz

In a pinch and no crystals on you? Grab any old rock or stone. They’re all grounding, I promise. They’re of the earth and they’ll help you to root yourself.

4. Essential Oils

Love me some essential oils. If you’re new to them, you need to read up before just throwing them on your body. I’ve been using them for 20 years and I’m still learning. Always dilute, don’t diffuse them around cats (cats cannot process EOs), and really figure out what you’re doing first.

Oils I like for grounding:

 Cedarwood (both Atlas and Virginia)
 Frankincense
 Myrrh
 Palo Santo
 Patchouli
 Sandalwood
 Vetiver
 Spikenard
 Lavender 

5. Cleansing with Smoke

I love me some smoke cleansing. It clears the energy and puts me right in my happy place, every single time. My two favorites for this are sage and Palo Santo, but incense can work, too. Now, you can’t use smoke everywhere, which is where Florida water can come in. It’s not water from Florida, even though it sounds like it.  It’s actually alcohol, usually vodka, with essential oils mixed in and then left to get to know each other for a bit. You can buy some, but if you’re into essential oils, you can make your own much cheaper. BONUS: Florida water doubles as a killer perfume. 

6. Reiki

I find Reiki incredibly grounding. It clears energies and leaves me feeling centered and solid. But not everybody has access to Reiki every time that they need it, so it’s not always a fast emergency grounding technique. If you’re finding it difficult to ground through other means, though, you might find that a few sessions of Reiki help you to clear the way and ground on your own much more readily. If you’re interested, we can set up a remote session.

Keep the process of grounding easy so you can do it any time you feel the need. Click To Tweet

So those are *my* favorite ways to ground – got more you can suggest? Put them in the comments!

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Self-care: My Theme for 2017

I don’t choose a word for the year. I don’t normally choose a theme, either. And I don’t remember when this year’s theme – self-care – first whispered into my awareness, but it did and continues to do so.

Self-care: My Theme for 2017

It’s a pretty big topic for me, caring for oneself, both as a personal topic and professionally speaking. There are a few clients for whom I write and self-care comes up now and again as a topic for them. I like that it does, honestly, because it’s something we don’t talk or think often enough about.

Merriam-Webster defines self-care as:

Merriam-Webster on self-care

As a definition, it’s not too bad. A bit clinical and lacking some of the more important features, though. But see, that’s the problem, because self-care is so very individualized and we all have to figure it out for ourselves.

Also, most people hear the phrase and automatically translate it to “selfish,” which is not the case at all.

You Write the Definition

So the good news (and a bit of the bad news) is that you define your own self-care. When you’re in charge of something that important, where do you start?

With the basics.

Are you eating? Hydrating? Moving your body? Taking care of your personal hygiene? That sort of stuff.

But here’s the thing. You can do every bit of that and more and still be neglecting your own self-care. I know I have. If you’re neglecting those basics, though, start there and don’t add on to it until you’re stable with the bare minimum.

Need or want some help with keeping basic self-care in mind? This interactive self-care flowchart is excellent. Use this if you’re numb, if you’re depressed, if you’re not sure you even want to care about self-care.

Basic Self-care vs. a More Involved Version

Alright, so basic self-care is covered. What does it take to keep you happy? To keep you productive? To really make life an enjoyable experience for you?

Or is there something about your life you want to improve? Do you want to eat better, exercise more, or tackle something else?

That’s where more advanced — and nebulous — self-care comes in. You’re really able to dig deeper into what it means to you to take care of yourself.

If you’re having trouble sorting this out, sit with it for a while. Journal about it. Meditate on it. Talk to your spirit guides. Go through a week of normal activity and keep the question in the back of your mind: Is this part of self-care for me?

I did that, in fact I’m still doing that. And I came up with my rough plan.

My (Rough) 2017 Self-care Plan

Basic self-care is the foundation.

Continue to meditate daily. Or close to daily. I’m not being incredibly strict with myself here, but it definitely makes me feel much better. It’s also when I tend to have the most communication with myself and my guides.

Set up a workable daily schedule. I work from home, but things get away from me. Work takes longer than I anticipate or tasks for the house take longer than I expect. Or I flit from one thing to another. It happens. But I’m learning to set and stick to a schedule for my day. It keeps me grounded and it helps me make sure I hit all the marks I want to hit. One of those marks being blogging for myself more regularly. The better I become at managing my schedule, the more time I’ll have to write for myself.

Move more. Adding more movement to my day is essential. I’m at a desk pretty much all day. My body, my mind, and my soul need this.

Include more self-Reiki into my life. I’m great at offering it to others, I just forget that it helps me, too.

Add more joy to my life. I enjoy my life, don’t get me wrong. But there are things that I enjoy doing that I haven’t done in a while or that I don’t do more regularly because they’re frivolous or they’re time-consuming. So this year, the idea is that I’m making more of those activities a priority. And if those things add joy to my life? Then they’re neither frivolous nor a time waster.

Whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m not naïve enough to believe I’ve wrapped everything up into a bow with this plan as it stands. There is far more that can and may fall under the self-care umbrella for me.

That’s about it. Your self-care plan can include as much or as little as you want and it can be as specific as you want it to be. What’s your plan look like?

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Can Mercury in Retrograde Be Positive?

Let’s talk about Mercury in retrograde for a minute, because it’s on everyone’s minds.

Most people view Mercury in retrograde as a bad thing, but I think we have to look for the positive.

What Is Mercury Retrograde?

Can Mercury in Retrograde Be Positive?

To start with, Mercury is the planet in our solar system that is closest to the sun. It only takes about 88 of our days (here on Earth) for Mercury to complete a full cycle around the sun. About three or four times a year, Mercury does something strange from our vantage point here on Earth. It looks as if it slows down and even backs up. This is an optical illusion, but it’s unnerving. So we gave it a name: Retrograde.

The retrograde period can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to closer to three weeks. There’s also a “shadow period” before and after, so the effects of Mercury in retrograde might hit you a little earlier or seem to last a little longer than the actual dates.

Mercury–named for the Roman god Mercury, the Messenger–rules over quite a bit, astrologically speaking. There’s communication, for starters, based on that whole “messenger” deal. But there is also intelligence, the mind and memory, and self-expression, among others.

Here are the dates for this coming year:

December 19, 2016 – January 8, 2017
April 9, 2017 – May 3, 2017
August 12, 2017 – September 5, 2017
December 2, 2017 – December 22, 2017

So What’s the Big Deal?

OK, so when Mercury goes into retrograde, the implication is that whatever Mercury rules or affects goes a bit haywire. That means there are:

• Mixups
• Delays
• Technology goes wonky
• Messages get lost
• Misunderstandings brew
• Contracts and agreements are iffy
• Dreams and goals can get lost

Most people who talk about Mercury in retrograde have some Big Advice on what you should avoid. These tips include avoiding:

• Big purchases
• Big repairs
• Big changes, like marriage, divorce, etc.
• Traveling
• Starting a new job
• Making agreements
• Starting projects
• Holding important meetings

This might make you feel better, but come on. That’s usually two to three weeks out of your life. Let’s lighten up a bit.

Looking for the Positives

Mercury in retrograde gives you a chance to slow down and pay a little bit more attention. Say you know that messages can be delayed. So you slow down and give yourself extra time to craft them and to send them accurately. It allows you to take a break. Observe what’s going on around you. Contemplate life a bit.

This period of retrograde is perfect for second chances, redoing something—anything with “re” in front of it, really. You can catch up on all those time-consuming tasks you’ve been avoiding because you didn’t have time for them before.

It’s also perfect for this time of year. You can reflect on what you’ve already accomplished and then review your goals and plans. Then, when Mercury goes direct, you’re ready.

Helpful Tips for Surviving Mercury in Retrograde

If you’re determined to carry on with life full speed ahead during Mercury’s retrograde, go for it. But some of these tips might help you feel you’ve got a better handle on things.

Check your plans over and over and over again, especially travel plans. And bring carry-on luggage.

Always be prepared for delays! They’re gonna happen. Bring a book.

Mail packages and letters early. And double check those addresses before you send them off.

In fact, double check everything.

Keep your receipts. Especially if you’re determined to buy something big.

Keep your tech charged.

Remember to BREATHE and GROUND.

So how do YOU survive Mercury in retrograde? Leave tips in the comments!

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What My Coffee Pot Taught Me about Aligning My Life

A few months ago I started getting a specific message during meditation and at other times. I kept hearing that I needed to work on aligning my life. What the what? How the hell was I gonna do that? I didn’t even understand what the phrase meant. My coffee pot helped me to figure out what aligning could mean and what it had to do with improving my flow.

So, when you see the phrase “align yourself,” what do you think? Like I said, I didn’t know what to think at all. And the message kept popping up. Every time I turned around, it seemed that’s what I would hear. At the time, I was trying to shove a square peg into a round hole in my professional life. I wanted to launch a very specific business and it wasn’t working. I couldn’t figure out why and I was frustrated.

So Frustrated

I was also frustrated with a lot of other things. My time management. My energy levels. My failed idea for a side business. My freaking coffee pot.What My Coffee Pot Taught Me about Aligning My Life

Wait, what?

Yeah, my coffee pot. We have one of those Mr. Coffee 4-cup coffee makers. It’s about a million years old, but I do love it. It makes just enough coffee to fill up my husband’s travel mug for the trip to work and still leaves me with a full cup of coffee. Well, let’s be honest, my mug holds more like two cups of coffee, but still. We both get coffee and I only have to wait for the one pot to brew.

But here’s the thing. I was starting to have trouble pouring coffee out of the pot. It was constantly dribbling over the side, no matter how I tried pouring the coffee. And I started noticing that even though I was holding the handle, the spout seemed to be all askew. I didn’t think it had ever done that before, but nothing had changed, right?

So I grumbled. For MONTHS. And wiped up coffee spills and dribbles. For MONTHS. Sometimes I can be kind of clueless, as we all can be, really, especially at 6am before a cup of coffee. I was so frustrated that I was determined to get a new coffee maker. I mean, this one was beyond ancient, after all, right?

Meanwhile, midway through the coffee pot drama, I’m getting the message about aligning my life.

Ding!

One day, I look at the coffee pot and I realize that it’s not bolted or riveted or even attached to the glass carafe at all. There’s a stainless steel band around the bottom of the carafe that holds the bottom of the handle and the top of the handle has a lip that pops over the top edge of the glass carafe.

Over time, what has happened is the band and the lip have gradually worked their way around the carafe, putting the handle out of alignment with the spout of the carafe.

Once I realized the problem, I gently slid the carafe around until the spout and the handle were opposite each other again. They aligned. And the next time I poured coffee? It was perfect, wonderful, amazing. The coffee flowed just the way it was supposed to.

Aligning My Life

So what the hell does my coffee pot problem have to do with the message I kept getting?

A lot, it turns out.

The next time I meditated and heard that I needed to align myself and my life, I stopped and changed the question. Instead of asking what that meant, I asked how to do it. I got some answers, which surprised me at first, but I started following those answers and realized that they really did help. {NB: I’ll talk about all of these in more depth in individual posts because I think that they’re worth going into much more detail.}

My Methods

One answer that I received was that I needed to meditate by myself. That was interesting, because I’d been meditating quite a bit, but I was using guided meditations. See, I’ve never been able to meditate on my own. It always felt awkward and weird and I just couldn’t seem to do it. But now, I gave it a try.

I started using my pendulum more. That’s helped me to build some self-trust and it’s also helped me with sorting through some issues. If you’re new to pendulums or dowsing, I highly recommend Pendulum Mojo by Amy Scott Grant {affiliate link}. I’ve read other stuff about pendulums and dowsing before and, honestly, they didn’t resonate with me at all. I get Amy and her advice works for me.

I started paying more attention to my crystals and carrying them with me. I’ve always collected crystals, but I usually didn’t have them on me. I’ve also found that although I had plenty of gemstone jewelry, I didn’t get the same feeling that I did from having a crystal on its own next to my skin.

I got much more serious about using Reiki regularly. I’m finishing up the course now for my Reiki Master certification and I honestly think this is one of the best things I’ve ever done. Reiki is transformative and I want to share it as much as I can.

I started using oracle cards, journaling, and venturing into Akashic record study. These are all still works in progress, but I’ll be sharing as I learn more.

The Results?

Right away the flow of my life changed. I didn’t feel like I was constantly fighting my way up stream. Are there days that I still have a rough go of it? Of course. But I take a deep breath and I focus back on what helps me with aligning my life. That’s part of why I started One Cricket Chirping, in fact. I wanted to share what I was experiencing and what helped me.

So tell me, when you hear the phrase “aligning my life,” what does it mean for you?

fall-self-care

I Saved a Ladybug on Friday, and it Was Awesome

It’s not often that I even get to see a ladybug, much less save one, but that’s what happened Friday. Let me back up a bit.

One of the major benefits of working from home is that I get to take a break whenever I need or want one and one of my favorite types of breaks is to go out on the front porch and visit with the community cats. We’ve spayed or neutered pretty much all the ladybug on cornflowercats that have been abandoned in the neighborhood and now they call our place home. It’s a good trade off for me, really.

We keep water and food dishes enough for everyone to be able to have a spot without getting in an argument and occasionally there’s something that needs rescuing in one of the water dishes. Friday it was a ladybug.

The Story

As soon as I saw the ladybug, I fished it out and hoped I wasn’t too late. The ladybug started crawling around on my hand right away, so I knew that at least it hadn’t drowned. What with all the aforementioned cats around, I told the little beetle that I’d stick around until it took off.

ladybugPlus, I was nosy and wanted to make sure that it was truly alright.

What followed was the most elaborate pre-flight checklist I’ve ever witnessed.

That little ladybug groomed its head and legs, following that up with a thorough grooming of its undercarriage. All the while, it would randomly flap its wings, testing to see if they were drying out, it appeared.

I couldn’t tell you how long I sat there watching this ladybug check itself out and make sure all was well, but it was fascinating. The ladybug didn’t seem to be bothered much by me hanging out, either, since it stuck pretty close to where I was. Finally, one of the cats snuck by my notice and jumped up on the rail, scaring the ladybug. So I didn’t get to see true flight, but I know that the little guy was pretty dry by the time it fled.

But here’s where it gets interesting.

Ladybug Symbolism

I’ve always been really interested in animal symbolism and animal totems. Lately, I’ve been looking up the symbolism of the animals and insects that show up in my life. It’s given me interesting information.flying ladybug

According to Spirit Animal Totems, ladybugs represent luck and fulfilled wishes. The site goes on to say:

This insect also cautions not to try to [sic] hard or go to [sic] fast to fulfill our dreams. Let things flow at their natural pace. In the due course of time, our wishes will all come true.

That’s lovely, isn’t it? Especially in terms of a message to me, personally. I’ve been feeling like I need to hurry up again, although I’m not certain what it is I’m supposed to hurry up about. So the ladybug dropped by to remind me that it’s all good…you’re fine where you are.

There are some other associations listed in the ladybug blurb at Spirit Animal Totems that you might want to look at for yourself, just in case there is some meaning that jumps out for you. <3