Mercury Retrograde

For those of you who are astrologically inclined read on. Mercury Retrograde is a big thing. Maybe…. For skeptics, close this window now and forever hold your peace.  Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs around planetary positions and how they impact (or don’t) on our lives. Mercury Retrograde can be a positive experience……

We have just entered into another Mercury Retrograde – May 29th 2021 to June 22nd 2021 and I would encourage you to view this as a time to implement positive changes into your life.

A time of reset, review and renewal …. at every level… Personal, local, countrywide and global….. as Mahatma Gandhi said…” be the change you want to see”…..

Lockdown

Another day, another lockdown. We can choose how we respond to these times and I won’t go  into the politics of whether it is right or wrong or who may be at fault. What I will do is to choose to use this time as a reset, a chance to create and as we move into winter…… perhaps a little hibernation.

I’m taking my own advice and doing a little art therapy to relax my mind and take myself away from listening to or watching the news. Having created some mandalas for an online program, I’d like to share one with you so that you can relax a  little during this lockdown or circuit breaker.

Download it HERE.

If you don’t have a supply of colour pens or pencils – not to worry, I did one using just a black pen and lines and I think it turned out OK!

A Balanced Life

A Balanced Life

With the advent of another lockdown here in Melbourne and face to face consultations postponed, it is timely to introduce A Balanced Life.

Designed so that you can creatively focus on a specific area of your life that you want to improve, it uses a combination of tools to achieve this.

This program is broken into 3 Modules:A Balanced Life

  • WHAT you can have in your toolbox
  • WHY are you running around in circles? A creative exercise to help you relax your conscious mind
  • HOW to choose an area of your life that’s not working right now and apply helpful strategies to turn it around.

 

All for a little less than the cost of a  single coaching session! Plus downloadable resources that you can re-use again. I hope that you will enjoy this journey  and have your own toolbox to create a more balanced life.

You may want to have a few more coaching sessions to debrief and to clarify how to goal set effectively. There’s a choice between  1:1 sessions or group sessions. There is also a private Facebook group once you have done this program that you are eligible to join.

Growth

Trees and stress reliefWalking amongst the trees to observe their seasonal change and growth was the one thing I really looked forward to during the second lockdown here in Victoria. These trees were planted many years ago and the park is part of a precinct that now includes an art gallery and a library. The trees were most likely planted by some settlers of Irish origin who took up farming in the area who may not have envisaged the growth of the urban sprawl that has since happened.

I have a fascination with how things grow. From germinating seeds to seeing the growth of people when they have had a coaching or hypnotherapy session and have resolved a long term issue.

The metaphor of the seed, that it just knows – given the right conditions – how to germinate. The wind may blow a seed many kilometres away from where the tree stands, but if the soil is fertile and there is enough water and nutrients to  nourish it –  it will flourish and reward us with its growth.  Some seeds may lie dormant in the soil for many years, waiting for the right conditions to germinate.

So too with us humans…. we can wait until the conditions are suitable until we nurture the seed of a thought and allow it to grow, nourished by curiosity and a belief that anything is possible.

 

Art for Art’s sake

find yourself in artCreating a work of art…. how often have you heard (or even told yourself) someone say that they are not creative or they are “no good at art”?

Let me tell you a secret………

You don’t have to be an accomplished artist or proficient in techniques to create a work of art. Doing an “art activity” is more than creating an artistic masterpiece. The act of creating an image engages the kinaesthetic as we move pens/pencils/brushes; the visual as we choose colours and shapes; and perhaps even the auditory senses as we hear our chosen implements move across canvas or paper.

Take a mandala or a picture from one of those popular colouring books. I have given these out in workshops and am always delighted to see such variation in colours and textures from the same pattern given to everyone.  Some chose to create their work of art with many colours, others with just a few and some made a bold statement by using a black fineliner.  Each one was a work of art in its own way, because while the participant was creating and getting in touch with their inner artist, they lost their conscious filters as they engaged in mindfulness. Many were surprised at how the time had flown past, demonstrating that they had entered into an altered state of consciousness where time had no meaning.

I have an upcoming stress management workshop that I will be putting online and it will incorporate an “art activity” as a precursor to the inner work to be done on identifying stressors.  Keep an eye out for the announcement of the online course!

Art Therapy

How can Art Therapy help in our current times?  But what if I’m not “good” at art or “don’t have an artistic background”.  These and more questions have been asked of me in recent days. I have responded with examples of my own portfolio which demonstrates that I am not necessarily an accomplished artist. It is about the symbolic nature of what you create and bringing to your conscious mind feelings or emotions that need resolution. What you do with it later, can be either even more creative or cathartic. Art Therapy is more about the Therapy than being an accomplished artist.

Art helps with feelings of sorrow, particularly the medium of photography. It can convey the immediacy of a situation and captures – particularly in black and white – to the collective and subconscious emotions of the viewers.

Situations viewed through the photographic lens allow the viewer to simultaneously view an event whilst experiencing it as a disconnected viewer. Focus and contrast can be easily manipulated to draw the eye to a specific area. This is beneficial, in that emotion that may not have been otherwise expressed or subconsciously repressed can be brought to the fore and by the expression of same, healing can begin.

Imagination

We all have an imagination. Whether we use it creatively or destructively is ultimately up to us. Art and Music can transport us to places that allow our imagination to run free, you don’t have to be a VanGogh or Matisse to create beautiful art, even the act of colouring in a mandala in a purchased book can create beautiful images that relax our conscious minds and allow the subconscious to find solutions or a better way of doing things.

When our imagination is less than helpful by focusing on negative things  or overthinking The art of Stress Managementoutcomes, it is time to pick up a pencil, a brush or some clay and allow the subconscious mind to have a play. Likewise, we don’t have to be an accomplished musician to enjoy the benefits of music. The notes can transport us to a different time and place as the subconscious retrieves the memories of times gone by. An added benefit of being able to play an instrument is that it engages the kinaesthetic as well as the aural senses. The powerful effect that art and music have on the psyche and our wellbeing cannot be underestimated.

Grand Conjunction

Certainly a once in a lifetime experience as the Grand Conjunction of Saturn and Venus came together at the Summer Solstice. Mixed feelings as the clouds increased and the heavens opened with a heavy downpour at the very time that this Grand Conjunction of planets was to take place. As I sat there after my meditation contemplating the rain, it occurred to me that this in itself was a cleansing – particularly for Melbourne after months of lockdown.

This afternoon, in between showers, I ventured out into the garden. The light was that soft golden light that comes after the rain……. delicious! A little flash of white movement caught my eye and the tiniest butterfly alighted onto a nearby bush. I had my phone with me, and as happens so often as soon as I went to take a photo, a light breeze sprang up. I waited and then…… the planets aligned and I took the photo!

Grand Conjunction butterflySuch a delicate creature and it stayed there after I sent it some Reiki to let it know that I wasn’t a predator.

What a wonderful metaphor for this time of change! Many astrologers have predicted that this is a time of great spiritual awakening and change.

What better to represent this than a butterfly? It has spent time as a caterpillar – probably not the most attractive sight – gone into “hibernation” in its cocoon (as we did during lockdown) and emerged as this beautiful creature. Eyes wide open and antennae picking up what’s new.

Metaphysically, the butterfly is the symbolism of transformation, spiritual rebirth and we are already changing the way we live, work and play as a result of the global pandemic, political changes and a sense that we need to renew our connection with nature. It is also said that when a butterfly appears, there are angels nearby ready to help you should you ask.

So, are you still evolving in your cocoon and that’s OK as you spiritually prepare for what’s coming, or are  you ready to spread your wings after this Summer Solstice?

 

Ending and Beginning

A timely post – seeing as I haven’t posted for some time. Tonight’s Full Moon in Gemini is a time of letting go of the old to let the new come in. In Victoria we have had 100 days + of lockdown and no new COVID cases for some weeks, so we’ve certainly had time to audit what is working for us and what isn’t. A Full Moon is time for ending and beginning something new.  It’s about being aware of what we can release,  let go and what we can look forward to in the coming months. For me, it has been a time of both ending and beginning – just as Victorians ended lockdown, I began my own extended time of “lockdown” with a broken lower leg. Another 6 weeks of keeping pretty much to myself and physically restricted from moving about or driving.

I had kept myself busy during the official lockdown with my Art Therapy studies and am pleased to announce that I have completed these and will be offering some Art Therapy workshops in 2021 as well as a new Stress Management range of workshops.  A wonderful ending and beginning!

So what will I be doing later this evening as the Full Moon rises? After I’ve put my crystals out to bathe in the moonlight, I’m going to meditate and then journal on what I want to bring into fruition over the next few months. Then let go of any baggage around the last few months.

This can be as simple as taking a clean sheet of paper and writing down – in dot point or single words – what it is that no longer serves you. When your list or paper is full (& mindful of fire restrictions for your area) – set a match to it and burn it …. offering it up to the Universe to deal with. Put the cooled ashes onto your garden or a pot plant to return them to the Earth.

Once done, have a shower/take a bath/have a swim/splash water on your feet or face. This symbolically washes away the emotions that you have attributed to these things.

If you did a New Moon intention, look back over that and see what has already manifested and tick it off. In the New Year I will be running Vision Board workshops that go a little deeper and will help you to develop a regular plan to bring in abundance.

Heavens Above

We all know about Mercury Retrogrades….. things like electrical equipment go awry with no explanation….. but have you heard of Mars Retrograde? – Retrograde means to appear to go backwards. I hadn’t considered how this may have implications to our daily lives until I started to do some reading about it. The reason a Mars Retrograde isn’t more commonly known is because it doesn’t happen as regularly as the Mercury one. For instance there isn’t one at all in 2021, which could be a good thing as I think we might just be over any astrological triggers for 2020.

I’m not an astrologer, but from the articles I’ve been reading we are just about to enter a period where Mars goes retrograde. September 9th 2020 to November 13th 2020. Rather than paraphrase the articles I have read, this one seems to be the most comprehensive and includes towards the end how it affects your sun sign and your ascendant.

Against the backdrop of the Stage 4 COVID lockdown extension, I thought that this is  an interesting time to be entering into.  Social media is running hot with a myriad of views and conspiracy theories and it seems that there is a “my way or the highway” attitude to having an opinion.

The article suggests that during this Mars retrograde,

“We might stew in anger at times, not finding a direct or straightforward channel for releasing it. This is a time for really getting in touch with what we’ve been accepting on the surface of things, but that has been building inside as emotional slush.”

There are many ways to get in touch with and deal with that “emotional slush” and I have found the combination of applying Emotional Intelligence coaching with hypnotherapy to get to the root cause is the most effective way.

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