Being too ‘nice’ and ‘good’

Admittedly these two terms are all relative to who is deciding or projecting value judgement in life but we have astrologically experienced a big shift over the past few days with the planets Mars and Jupiter both moving from the depth unconscious watery sign of Pisces (the final in both the zodiac and the watery trilogy) into the first active, intitiating cardinal fire sign of Aries ruled by the planet Mars. So Mars is now not as debiliated as it was being in the sign of its natural rulership.

Many of us will be integrating powerful lessons around our use of power, assertion and energy in the weeks to come, especially empaths, it is something Lee Harris flagged up in his most recent monthly update. For myself I am rising earlier since the shift and seeing where my need to always help, be ‘nice’ do the ‘right’ or ‘good’ (people pleasing) thing gets me into so much hot water.. That said we live in a me first kind of society at the moment where so many people are out for what they can get and are in difficult situations due to the way governments and the ‘systemic’ energies are organised. With all of our abundance so many seem to be panicky or in extra need right now.

For me lately I have to be very mindful of where i place my energy and I notice a hell of a lot of enlightened empaths posting on this, that said at times it might be a form of hubris to claim ‘enlightenment’ after all what does that term actually mean?

Well to me Aries is about that burst of primal fire, identity or self that must rise up and about the light we need not to have dimmed in order to be true to a larger sense of Self. For many of us empaths this is not necessarily a powerful strongly secure egoic self for many of us, indeed often we were raised more on the powerless end of the narcissism/empath spectrum which meant our egos could not feel strong and often our real gifts such as empathy, spiritual attunement and sensitivity were devalued. Sadly the mainstream education system and much of our conditioning may have shut us down or even pathologised us for these many valuable qualities that we do have.

Awakening empaths such as Anita Moorjani claim that the world at the moment is making a shift from the patriarchal heroic/negatively overpowering to and devaluing of nature narcissistic end of the spectrum to a more caring, femininely centered, intuitively and spiritually oriented one (grounded in both nature and the body), one in which empathy is valued and people appreciate the fact of what we owe to older cultures who lived more embedded with nature and knew how to respect it and it cycles..

The rise of feminine power is just one part of this as its about a shifting balance between masculine and feminine ends of the polarity. In the old dying system narcissists seem to be able to rule by denigrating anything they decreed to be more lowly and primal.

I watched a recent David Letterman interview with Barak Obama last night and a lot of it concerned the civil rights movement that sparked such conflict in one of the first major protests of the black community : a march that took place from Selma to Montgomery on the 7th of March, 1965 but was initially squashed by police and state powers leading to it being both overpowered and turned back

Prompted by Martin Luther King the march resumed two days later getting as far as the Pettus bridge in Selma, befoe again being turned around by a court order.. Eventually the march began again a few weeks later on 21st of March arriving in Montgomery 4 days later on the 25th of March It is to be noted that on the 25th of March the sun has shifted from the Neptune sign of Pisces into the Mars ruled sign of Aries.. Aries carries a very different energy. . This march eventually ensured the passing of legislation to allow black Americans the right to vote.

Obama stated that he owed his presidency to these protests and whether or not you are a fan (and many are not) this tenacity of the black American’s ensured they could not longer be as disabled from their constitutional rights but as we all know the fight still had and has a very very long way to go.

I can identify with the lack of empowerment of people such as Black Africans while knowing I do not know at depth the level of injustices they do face.. Seeing what happens to our indigenous population in this country is enough to sicken any empath but luckily things are now changing with our new Prime Minister willing to finally endorse our aboriginal people’s call to change outlined in the Uluru Statement From the Heart and our first appointment of an indigenous person in the office of Minister of Indigenous Affairs.

Getting back to the more personal, lately I am seeing how I also collapsed in the past due to having no power or having to ‘keep the peace’. It has not been an easy pill to swallow at all.. But no longer criticising myself as much is helping even if those old voices telling I would be better off killing myself came back with a lot of ferocity a few days ago.

The shift of both Mars and Jupiter into the cardinal fire sign of Aries does show we are entering a new 12 year cycle.. Jupiter remains in each zodical sign for a year and Mars only for a few months at a time (with the exception of when it is moving retrograde). An entire Mars cycle of the zodiac takes about 2 years. And Mars can oppose and square the Sun which is not possible for the other personal planets Mercury and Venus.

So be prepared to take action at this time, and if not be prepared to feel like you need to have something change. Like its is not as possible as before to dim your solar light.. Mars fights for the Sun and when it is combusted or debilitated like mine is it may take years for us to rise out of dis-empowerment victim thinking but we must do it because at times it far better to be real and authentic than ‘nice’ or ‘good’.

Anxiety

Often the outcome seems insecure

And then the mind runs riot

We try to manage the quivering feeling

Finding it impossible to sit still

How can we find a way to calm the mind

Leaving the anxious thoughts behind

Focus on the breath

Feel into the gorgeous depth

Of the approaching dusk

Seeing the fading sky

Tinged with light

At times like these

It often feels

That the whole world

Around me

Is unravelling

Seeking my solid ground

I touch the things God gave to us

I prepare a meal and try to remember

I did my best

Even though lately it seems

I made such a terrible mess

Of everything.

Sun shine (prison of darkness)

Sun shine you rise in my soul now

Even when the day dawns dark

I am not longer as lost

In that abandoned wilderness

As I was before

There is a home here

And even a liking for myself

I am discovering

Despite my flaws

And even as the hostile critic tries to tell me this :

What a mess

Why don’t you just end it?

This is sad

But I must remember how many still struggle in this way

Drowning deep in missing empathy

And toxic shame

Not even theirs

Not even ours

So even now when voices of darkness try to say

Fear is the ultimate response

To current conditions

How can I agree?

For, in truth

I have felt that sun rising

Bestowing warmth

And I will not look away again

Allowing my being to be held captive

Within

A prison of icy darkness

Smiling through the pain

To plaster on a painted smile to hide pain may appear to be living in denial, it may also be a response to a world in which our true feelings were shamed or not welcomed expression.

I often think about this when I listen to talks by Eckhart Tolle, he does not share a lot about his family background but it must have be torturous from the little he does say in some of his videos.. He said he nearly went mad with an intense pain body and then he had an awakening, his principal teaching is mostly about awakening through accepting in and releasing our suffering to live more fully surrendered in the present moment

And when I read the writings of Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh lately and he speaks about smiling to our heart through suffering that makes sense, after all life is impermanence, if we look all around in nature it goes through many cycles of seeding, gestation, birthing, growth, blooming and blossoming and then decaying and then the return to the fallow state. Sadly, in our culture, versed in what Purlitzer Prize winning author Ernest Becker has called the denial of death we would like to air brush all of these dark phases out of the picture and as soon as death raises its head many seem to get absolutely terrified..

One of the aspects of suffering significant early losses and trauma is that we know from a very young age that not a lot can be relied upon to stay the same, we have often to deal with losses no one talks to us about or helps us to make sense of possibly due to their own un-integrated ones.. And as kids we are just open to the magical and to th world of wonder, and feeling..

As a child, I know I used to talk invisible presences all the time, as my older sister told me this later in life, she thought it was a great joke.. Then there are the words that stand out so strongly in the AA Big Book about finding ourselves at the depths of our rock bottom from trauma or addiction, beyond human aid. This means at pivotal times there was no one to turn to at all in human form. Possibly due to their own emotional vacancy, or emotional neglect no one could be there to be our mirror for a time and so we may meet an inverted or distorted mirror.

We may also turn to substances and religions and the archetypal dimensions which may open us up to great spiritual and artistic resources but may lead us to being pathologised in a culture that also denies the veracity of these things.. In time we do have to find a way to walk in the world though, as painful as that might be.

Lately I find myself between so many different worlds. Leading to the lunar eclipse I helped someone again with a promise of money only to have everything turn out wrong and once again I am nearly emptied out.. There was nothing i could do at one point but cry and feel absolutely terrified, on Wednesday I went to the police and then had the person provide evidence they were genuine, when I opened up to Scott about it I got slammed.. This is the precarious world I find myself in lately.. But somehow I have kept moving forward.

For some reason going through all of this is just making me appreciate the simplicity and poignancy of the present moment even more.. We were out and walking by 9.30 am today and the autumn colors were intense.. I felt the moisture on the ground, we walked down the back streets close to Nana’s old place and to the park before going to the milk bar for a coffee, there we met a lady with another cavalier dog and a lovely young woman called Tamara who has just moved to my home town from very far away in Perth.. It was so good to start my day like this, instead of on the computer.. I felt fully engaged and as if I had made new friend, as before she left Tamara said she hoped to see me again..

I am also finding my readings of Thich and Buddhist Nun Pema Chodron are sustaining my soul at the moment and keeping my spirit both bouyant and joyous.,

I astarted the day with a morning Chi Gong practice and meditation to these words adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh’s.

Breathing in I feel my heart

Breathing out I smile to my heart

Breathing in I touch the present moment

Breathing out I feel myself grounded in the precious present moment.

Smiling to any pain or sadness does not mean I am repressing and denying it or painting on a smile, it means I am acknowledging that impermanence is a part of life.. Losses do not come to punish me, but to wake me up, should I chose to see them as attacks I will stay cycling in misery. If I really want to find peace and liberate my soul to joy then I am best to welcome them into my heart deeply, breathe them in and then let them go allowing the deepening into feeling and presence that fully engaging with each experience ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ brings to me..

suffering

the powers that be

growing stronger on ignorance

would rather you stay numb

to the depths of truth

eschewing suffering

naming it a mistake

but wiser people know

pain cannot be avoided in this life

without enduring a massive cost

to our humanity

sadly we so often look

for the softer easier way

while we forget

even nature brings to all of its kin

raw and painful lessons

inspiration and wretchedness

two alternating sides of one reality

because the deeper truth

misery is seemlessly

interwoven with joy

enduring suffering

opens our hearts to what is real

to what our numb and shallow attitudes

concealed from us before

beware the one talking loudest

pontificating and judging

for of this you can be sure

they never once tasted

the humbling force

and grounding humbling power

of suffering

awakening

Nature is breathing

All around us

The entire natural world is full

Of vibrant energy and power

When we disconnect ourselves from those

Open, free flowing energies

Our systems go into arrest

Often this comes from some kind of shock

From being relentlessly over powered

When we have a deep seated (often unconscious) fear of other’s power

Due to hurt

When our natural response to violations is not allowed

To naturally arise

Or is repressed or punished

It remains trapped within us as a silent scream

Or contortion

It often doubles back upon us

In patterns of self blame, shame and/or resentment

We only need to hear that truth of what that pain

Is saying

Only then will we find the ways to step out of

Further repression or victimisation

But our old fears may keep us

Circling within that pattern for a very long time

Until enough suffering

Ensures the only option we have

Is awakening

The seed of the Holy Spirit

The writings of therapist Marion Woodman talk a lot about the Sophia principle guiding women doing their inner psychological work to break free of patriarchal wounding, once they can own their wounds and look to a source of healing from within, often a loving inner figure of presence and understanding will show up and that can prove to be transformative, especially if we suffered with so much internalized self criticism, shame or blame.

As humans we are never perfect, we have patterns that can damage both ourselves and others but the more that we can look upon those patterns with love, acceptance and understanding the more peace we may find, even as we struggle to transform them. Often a lot of suffering may have to happen in order for us to find wisdom and understanding.

A follower I cherish and respect so deeply mentioned in a comment a week or so back how she feels the Holy Spirit resides deep inside our hearts, and Sophia is another name for the feminine side of this force, some call Sophia wisdom, the associated priniciples may be grace and mercy.

So I was so grateful to receive my copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Living Buddha, Living Christ, this week in which he speaks of this force in association to the Holy Spirit and mindfulness. He sees it as a force of love and understanding. So much lately I notice when my own heart or the heart of another hardens mostly in fear. This makes us tend to shut down, when staying open may feel terrifying. And this is, at base, an issue strongly associated with Scorpio energy, where we harden to protect and may even strike to wound out of hurt or fear, we may hurt our own selves too with our internalized hurts if we cannot show softness towards our frustrations or problems, or ongoing hurtful patterns..

I found these words from the book so beautiful :

To me mindfulness is very much like the Holy Spirit. Both are agents of healing. When you have mindfulness, you have love and understanding, you see more deeply, you can heal the wounds in your own mind. The Buddha was called the King of Healers, in the Bible, when someone touches Christ, he or she is healed. It is not just touching a cloth that brings about a miracle. When you teach deep love and understanding you are healed.

For many of us understanding may only come through pain.. We have to take some actions that may lead to regret in order to learn and also to deepen in compassion for our human condition.

I watched an old episode of Vietnamese painter Ahn Doh’ Brush With Fame this week where he interviewed and painted the Australian actor Samuel Johnson. Samuel began his acting career in his twenties and lost his mother to suicide when he was very young.. One of his sisters, Connie then suffering three separate bouts of cancer and Samuel started doing a round Australia uni cycle ride to raise funds for her when her conditioned progressively worsened.

Sadly Sam lost his sister to the disease (he also lost his first girlfriend to suicide) and he spoke of how the pain over the second loss only tended to grow deeper and more profound with time.. Yet he was full of joy in the interview and has not given up his mission in raising funds and awareness.

Part of the interview that resonated was the one in which he said that he does not believe in a person saying they live a life of no regrets. We are human, we stuff up, to me being able to own that fact and keep moving forward is what counts, and in the end it is mindfulness or the loving Holy Spirit as an emissary of divine love that helps us to hold open a peaceful accepting place for both our own wounded hearts as well as the wounded hearts of our fellow humans.

Sophia is the receptive Being

in whom divine and human meet.

Through Sophia we enter into the mystery.

It seems to me a lot of pain may be reconciled or deepened into within this place, for, in truth, not all wounds heal but our attitude towards them can and does transform as we open our hearts and souls to a healing, reconnecting force of understanding and love that fills us with the capacity to fully embrace everything.

Embracing the mystery

In our information age we drown in stories and facts but there is also a deep mystery to life and to the soul that only gets negated if we try to pin down ‘truth’ and most ‘truth’ is relative any way.

This reading from Tian Dayton’s book Daily Affirmations for Forgiving and Moving On, celebrates the mystery.

Today I accept that part of myself that will never be satisfied and I comfort and tame it. There is a place in me that knows it will never know. At times I can get depressed about that and feel there’s no real point to life. But I am beginning to feel that to accept and love this side of myself is what also gives life beauty and meaning. Perhaps meaning is not knowing and understanding, but an acceptance of the mystery, an embracing of the unknown. After all, it is the mystery that gives even the most ordinary circumstance an eternal sort of glow – a sense of depth, a feeling that there is more.

I accept that I will never fully understand

– I embrace the mystery

The soul is restless and furious;

it wants to tear itself apart

and cure itself of being human.

Ugo Betti

Listen to me

Listen to me

Do you care?

Does it matter?

Can I hear how hard I am screaming?

Will I finally take action and responsbility

For my own life?

Stop feeding me your reality

When you are only judging

From a position of fear

Your voice is becoming weaker and weaker

In my ears

And believe me

If I have to walk away with nothing

But my sanity

I will do it

Because until I finally hear myself

Nothing changes

And nothing baring tender fruit

Can grow in a parched wasteland

You know your own heart

You know your own heart

Best

Seek the place of peace within

And listen for the joy

Those things that touch you deeply

And waken the wave

Thats bring to you

A rising energy of hope and love

Toward you

Too heartbreaking sad to be the one

Ground down into the mud

Soul ransomed to the hurts of someone else

But when you know your own soul deeply

There is no longer anything to fear

From someone else

Because deep in your being

You will know

When to trust, connect

And reach out

And when to walk away

Surrender

And let go