(approximate reading time 10-15mins)
Yesterday, my own struggle was the catalyst for the in-breath of inspiration, and it came in the midst of taking action that very much represents the Libra way.
You see, five, sometimes six days a week, I drive for Lyft in the San Francisco Bay Area. Oh, but I don’t call it by its real name. To me it is “San Obstacle Course: The Wild, Wild West Edition”! It is a high-difficulty course that is full of people in a rush to get to where they are going: cyclists, pedestrians, skate-boarders, and of course, the cars, Muni-trains, buses and large trucks. On top of that, the city has decided to do a huge amount of street construction all at one time (this is not including the many building construction projects that are happening at the same time and causing various lanes to be shut down), and it is being done during the middle of morning rush-hour!
To put the icing on the cake, every now and again, you get a poor, homeless soul who decides to
tempt fate, walk right out into on-coming traffic and then proceed to shout obscenities at all the people in the cars (and at the cars!) for daring to come screeching to a stop before almost hitting said soul.
So, you can imagine the stress level and jangled nerves of just about everyone driving on these streets from day-to-day. It’s hard to keep one’s cool, composure and sense of peace. If everyone were patient, courteous, forgiving and kind, it would all be much more pleasant. But many are exactly the opposite and contribute whole-heartedly to the chaos that regularly erupts on this modern city obstacle course.
I do my darndest to stay calm and peaceful, to “let go” of hostile, crazy energy flying my way on a regular basis.
The past few weeks, however, I have noticed a certain voice in my head getting louder and louder. I call this voice “Irritable Igor”. He is unhappy about everything and complains about everything. From his high-horse of righteousness, he judges, criticizes and condemns others for every little and big thing they do on the road (or near the road!) of which he doesn’t approve. He likes to point out what is wrong, flawed and needs to be fixed.
Along with this voice comes tension and an elevated heart rate. Let one person on the road even make a tiny mistake and it can sometimes feel as if I’m about to explode!
“Whoa, hold on, here,” I said to myself yesterday. “Just STOP!”
In that moment I made a choice to shift my perspective. Either I was going to continue to focus on all the “wrong” in my reality, or I was going to choose to focus on all the “right”. Either I was going to continue to add to the chaos on the roads, or I was going to respond with peace and kindness and contribute to what I would like to see and feel more of on the roads.
I took a few deep breaths. I told myself the truth that none of the chaos was personal. And then I decided to become aware of the miracle of my existence right in that moment, riding down the street in my car that I had previously named “Tao 2.0”.
It was a moment of grace. A moment of relief. I started to pay attention to my life flowing in that moment and all of the input coming in from my five senses. A miracle. I sighed and felt some of my awe for life return. Yes, even in the midst of “The Wild, Wild West”.
I had a Libra moment.
Libra is the part of us that seeks peace, balance and harmony. It is all about relationship and how to relate from a place of grace, poise, equilibirum and harmony. Libra’s challenge is to hold it all, the good, bad and the ugly, and still maintain its balance and poise.
No easy task, right?
Not at all. But we do have help. We have love always quietly calling us to embrace a more inclusive perspective and set of behaviors that will lead us to the peace we seek. We also have tremendous and infinite beauty to be seen and experienced any time we choose to see and experience it. We never have to go anywhere to find it. It is always right there where we are, breathing us, living us.
And we have each other.
Right now, Venus, goddess of peace, love and the arts/beauty (and ruler of the sign Libra), is still in critical Virgo. So, even though the Sun and Mercury are in Libra and supporting that movement toward deep peace and harmony, Venus is still prompting us to see what’s wrong in an attempt to improve it. This positive intent can easily turn negative and become harsh complaining and criticism and nothing more. This has been a tricky time for seeing the beauty of it all! But as she crosses over into Libra on Saturday, October 14, we may all find ourselves breathing much needed deep sighs of relief.
It doesn’t always come automatically. Sometimes (much of the time!) we have to work for it.
Choose peace within first.
Come into harmony within first.
Experience the beauty in the present moment.
Share it with someone.
Even one brief moment of grace, of peace, makes the work worth it.
Peace has a magical quality that renews us and turns our chaotic perspectives into something brand new.