A Libra Moment

(approximate reading time 10-15mins)

I didn’t know what I was going to write about for Libra season. The inspiration was slow to come, and I didn’t want to force the flow of words.

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”.

Peace returned.

Inspiration returned.

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.

Season of Virgo: Humility & Service

(approximate reading time 10mins)

I felt a distinct shift around August 22nd.

Could you feel it, too?

Perhaps it was because we recently had two new moons in Leo, simultaneously with the sun and mars in Leo.  And one of those new moons was a super-charged solar eclipse.

All of this planetary energy in Leo during the season of Leo made for quite an amplified Leo energy in the atmosphere and psyche, especially if you have any prominent planets in Leo in your natal chart.

Romance was likely in the air, whether it was renewing old sparks or enjoying new flames of passion. Having fun would have been a high priority.  Party much?!  Creative self-expression is another area that would have been highlighted with so much emphasis on Leo, also known as “the performer”.  Playing in general is Leo territory and letting the inner child express boldly and spontaneously so that it can be appreciated, praised and even applauded.  Being fully present as the unique self, experiencing and sharing joy, is Leo’s aim.

This energy was thick!

So it might have felt like hitting a wall of some kind when the sun transited into the humble sign of Virgo on August 22nd.

I felt it as a distinct impulse to “get down to business” and do some much needed work that I had been putting off.

The Virgo function is very different than Leo.  Whereas Leo basks in the glory of its ego with a kind of enlightened selfishness at its best (and an obnoxious self-absorption at its worst!), Virgo attempts to acknowledge the flaws of ego, set it aside and get down to business working on crafting some skill that can be offered up to others in the spirit of service.  With Virgo, it’s not all about fun and joy.  It’s about being responsible, fixing and improving things that are broken (including the ego) and doing what needs to be done because it is there to be done and, quite frankly, who else will do it?!

It takes humility to set the ego aside and place the focus on meaningful work that can be of use to ourselves and/or others, and Virgo, at its best, has this humility in spades.

But what about Virgo’s worst?

Have you ever been so hard on yourself, so self-critical, that you felt like disappearing?  But before the disappearing act, you would definitely punish yourself with feelings of guilt and shame?  And this self-flagellation would be so intense that no self-sacrifice would have been too miserable to assuage those self-defeating thoughts and feelings?

This is an extreme picture, I know.  But this is the worst of Virgo.  

During Virgo season we are prompted to be critical of ourselves, our lives and even others.  The task is to see what is wrong and what is broken so that it can be adjusted, fixed and improved.  Virgo’s vision of perfection is meant to keep us striving to do our best, not to demean and punish ourselves.

So, if you have been feeling a bit of hopelessness at the reality of your current circumstances or have been beating yourself up as you acknowledge the gap between where you are and where you would like to be, stop, take a deep breath, and use this Virgo energy to discern one or two things you can work on and improve and get down to business!

And while you are working away, remember to be kind to yourself and to always practice unconditional self-acceptance.

Embrace the paradox that you are perfectly imperfect and always will be. But don’t let that stop you from continuously striving to bring out your full potential and excellence as a service to be offered to the world.

And right about now the world desperately needs your service.

Welcome to Virgo season.