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A search engine will return many blog posts related to how to do a ceremony at the full moon to let go of that which you no longer want to think about, carry, or have in your life. This is not an instructional post. This is a personal account of the impact and outcome of moon energy coupled with exquisite attention and commitment.

My last post was about the natural rhythm of the seasons vs the calendar. Natural rhythms ebb and flow and we observe cycles in their comings and goings: cycles of day and night, cycles of the seasons, cycles of the moon. We, as humans are such a curious mix of three brain types. We still have the responses of a reptile, albeit it tempered by a cortex with ever evolving consciousness. So, I maintain that there is something comforting for us in harmonizing our lives with natural rhythms rather than with time clocks and the dictates of the cubicle nation.

The moon will be full Tuesday, February 3rd. (You can find a calendar of moon phases here) If you like to align your commitment and energy with natural forces, then it is also a great day to do a release ceremony.

moon copyright(c)2012KJLoh
The premise is simple enough. When the moon is full, it is a good time to let go of things because its waning process will symbolically represent and encourage, the withering of, or gradual disengaging from, that which you release. When the moon is new, not visible in the night sky, it is a powerful time to invoke that which you want to see grow in yourself and your life. As the moon waxes, it mirrors the growth you intended.

The full moon illumines the dark, helps us see in the night. It empowers us to see with great clarity and humility that which we need to offer up, to surrender, in order to be and become more of our true selves.

Not long ago, I created a release ceremony for myself. I did so by writing names and things, I wanted to let go of, on pieces of paper and ceremonially burning them. Then I buried them in the ground next to my apacheta and stuck jay feathers in the mound of fresh dirt at the burial site. This is one example of what you can do for your own release ceremony.

I encourage you to create your own full moon ceremony, because it works.

Is it the moon? Maybe, maybe not. Certainly, as Goethe tells us, commitment is key:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”

If we don’t have commitment, then I would not expect the moon to do the heavy lifting for us. If we are willing and fully committed, then the moon may be an ally.

First, there is something powerful about inviting the power of nature, planets, moon, earth, whatever works for us, to join forces with is as we make our commitment.

Second, we will likely see the moon every night thereafter and when we do we will be reminded of our commitment.

Third, when we go to the effort of creating a ceremony and we go about it in a sacred manner, we lock it into the body, it takes on meaning.

Finally, as icing on the cake, there is power in others doing the same at the same time (when two or more are gathered) whether with us or in their own full moon ceremony.

One of the things I released in my last ceremony was the ghost of a man who had come and gone in my life in a powerful and disturbing way. Because he lived in another state, our entire relationship, as brief as it was, consisted of phone calls and visits that took place only at my house, on my property, in my town.

Ever since his abrupt departure, I have had trouble shaking the memory of him and his energy, from my space. There were so many reminders: the stain from his maca root tea in my coffee cup, the Tupperware top that no longer fit because he put it in the bottom rack of the dishwasher, the dreams we dreamed woven among the trees on my property and the path I walk with my dog every morning and evening. I could feel him watching me from the living room chair, as he had most mornings, while I did my stretches and Qi Gong. It did get better over time, but I still felt haunted.

I discarded some things that reminded me of him, but I was and am stubborn about the coffee mug. It was a gift a friend gave me that symbolized my emergence after divorce. I didn’t want to allow him to steal that away from me and somehow the mug became a symbol of that.

When we are ready to release something, the intention has more focus and the commitment more power. If we are not really ready yet, it will spring back like something attached to a bungee cord (more about the bungee cord in my post Bye-Bye Now). Call it the saboteur, call it our inner doubter, call it lack of readiness, call it neural wiring, it all has the same effect. But, when we feel our readiness and we have the self-respect, compassion and self-restraint to continue along the path of release, then attending to it with ceremony and adding the power of nature and her cycles may be just the extra kick (dare I say, in the rear) that is needed.

Between the last and this full moon, I began to notice that my first thought, when I saw the coffee mug, was less and less about him and more and more about my friend and her gift of acknowledgment. What really surprises me is that the stubborn stain is suddenly and almost magically disappearing. No elbow grease was involved. I assure you, but plenty of soul and moon grease came into play, for sure. Additionally, the dreams we dreamed sailed off with the winter winds and my living room chair is empty in the mornings.

photo of path copyright(c)20-14KathyJLoh

This morning, I stood on the pathway, in a slit of sunlight between the tree shadows and took in the warmth as I waited for my dog to catch up. The most incredible freedom came over me. I am no stranger to seeing energy in the forest and feeling the waves coming off the trees, but this was different. The ghost was gone. The memories had no substance.

I felt space, lots and lots of space all around me. My body relaxed and I was breathing a little more freely. I wasn’t pulling my skin in to protect myself and make myself small. Instead I was allowing myself to merge with and be touched by the space around me. I only knew my prior constriction and armor by contrast to this new-felt freedom.

The release was complete.

My inner doubter proclaimed “This s()(*& works!”

There is no continuum to be had going forward, no story about how damaged I am or was, rather the opportunity to start here, today, now, with no ghosts hanging around; no baggage to carry into new relationships. I have a blank canvas before me and I can splash the colors of the ghost all over it if I want to. Retracing my steps and bringing them forward again is an option, but I prefer and choose the colors of spaciousness, breath, and freedom.

With the help of ceremony and the moon, it is easier for me to hold this new resonance.

With great gratitude to the teachers before me who have passed down the ways of ceremony and to the moon and forces of nature and all the unseen helpers who assist us in our Earth walk, I now turn to you, dear readers.

What are you ready to release?
What will you create as your own unique ceremony?
How willing are you to be free?

Be it this full moon or the next, I send you my heart-felt wishes for powerful ceremony and blessed release!

Thank you for walking the full moon path with me.

Copyright(c) Feb 2014, Kathy J Loh, all rights reserved
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“Anyone else having a bumpy re-entry? Today was one of those days where by noon I was already back curled up under the covers and needed to do a bit of yoga to re-center.”

A lovely, creative colleague of mine posted those words (above) on her Facebook page the first Monday of 2015. It caught my attention, because I’d already posted to my business development group that I was finding myself in a state of huge resistance to returning to work after two weeks “off.”

I enclose off in quotes because truly the weeks of Christmas and New Years are not a time of rest and retreat. All that time “off” is needed to attend to the busy-ness of the holidays. I posted my agreement as a comment in her thread and was comforted to see others, especially my creative friends, do the same.

While I didn’t feel like I wanted to crawl under the covers, I did want to stop time. I especially wanted to stop the tidal wave of emails coming in from marketers with whom I’d traded my email address for freebies this past year. It seems that the new year, the time of making resolutions, putting away the last year and gathering (or in most cases re-gathering) our hopes for the new year, is a good time to market your programs to people. But, to me, it all came across as too much noise.

photo of apacheta

Apacheta, offering to Gaia with gratitude – I later added rose petals from my solstice ceremony

Add to that, the noise of my panicked inner slave-driver chastising me for not having my own program launching with the others and that was all it took for my inner dragon to arise from its slumber. That’s good actually. I can use a little fire. Healthy anger is an indication that some boundaries have been crossed. I needed some boundaries. I needed to quiet the noise and shut off the inner slave-driver. I started opting out of all the lists and deleting emails. I refused to get on the new year-new you-productivity bound train. Instead, I stood on the platform and watched the train roll out of the station. As I did, I began to wonder. Why?

Why do we think that turning a calendar page from one year to another means we suddenly have a boatload of will power we didn’t have before?

Why do we think it’s time to rev our engines? If your holiday has been as relaxing as a two week silent meditation or spa retreat, perhaps you are ready to go on January 2nd. But for many of us the holiday has been go, go, go and January 2nd feels like jet-lag after a European whirlwind tour.

Yet, there is more at play here than a busy holiday.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, January falls in the dead of winter. The days are very short and the nights are long. Unless you are a night owl, trying to fit all you want to accomplish in the daylight hours is extremely challenging. It’s not natural to begin pushing ourselves to adopt new schedules and achieve high productivity in the winter months. OK, for you, maybe, but not for me and certainly not for the others who responded to my colleague’s Facebook post.

For me, what is natural at this time of year is to slow down, hibernate a bit, plan, and look within. As Ted Andrews wrote (in his book Nature-Speak):

This is actually a time for withdrawal from our outer activities, so that we can give birth to the light within our own darkness. To bring new life from the darkness of the womb is the goal of this season…These universal rhythms converging upon us are keyed to enable anyone who is seeking to awaken the interior gifts and light….Unfortunately, society has created an attitude of participation in continual gatherings and outward celebrations. This is contrary to the energy and rhythms of this season. The energies playing upon humanity stimulate great introspection and facilitate meditative states of awareness, and time should be given for these.

If we have attended to the gathering and preparations of Autumn, then we are ready to pay attention and receive the whispers, signs and messages from the Mystery that help guide us on an inward journey where we may commune with our soul and shine a light on our shadow.

All I really wanted to do, besides meditate, journal and walk, was put away the holiday decorations, clear the clutter, clean up my office and make it a beautiful and welcoming space within which to work. I wanted to futz and putter. I liken it to stretching the canvas, sharpening the pencils, noodling at the keys, ordering seeds.

Every creative knows that a good deal of puttering and dream time is needed to get the flow going. Futzing evokes the muse.

The other thing that happened was I reviewed my journal from the turn of 2013 to 2014 and I discovered that I had not accomplished all I’d hoped to. Honestly, I already knew that, but there it was in black and white. It was deflating to see that year after year, I wish for the same thing that does not materialize and it was disheartening to assume this year would be different. Still, I know I didn’t fail, because I certainly lived a wonderful year. I grew. I loved. I played. I stayed in business doing work I love.

What if I just let these perennial wishes go?

If I want to grow a garden, I first plan it. I browse seed catalogs. I dream of the harvest in Technicolor savoring, in my imagination, the smell and taste of fresh ripe tomatoes. I determine the space that I will designate as garden and when the soil is ready, I till it. I amend it. I till it some more. I will not plant until the days are longer and the frost is past. Why not do the same for my life?

At the Winter Solstice, I did just this. My planning consisted of setting the resonance for my future and in so doing, I invited my future to reach back and show me the way. The tug I feel upon my heart; the messages I receive from animals and experiences of synchronicity; those chills I feel when I make a proclamation or someone else says something to me with which my soul is in alignment; those events are my future speaking to me, beckoning me, the one for which I built a resonant field, not with specific form, but with how I want it to feel and who I want to be when I am living it.

When dreaming a future, form can be so limiting. Resonance is generative. My Solstice ceremony was to build that resonant field that invites possibility, while releasing with compassion and forgiveness the past and anything that does not align with that field or hold that resonance.

photo of a collage

2015 New Year Collage

So, when the first Monday of the new year arrived, for me, the soil of 2015 was nowhere near ready to be tilled, not to mention harvested. I want to hear my own voice, not the voice of others telling me what is missing in my life, what needs fixing and their method for doing so. Oh boy, can the “never-enough” ego get hooked by all that advertising!

It is winter and I want to hang out with my soul; the two of us cozy by the fire. I want to hear my soul acknowledge my journey thus far with love and compassion, as it will. I want to know the truth of myself, not as someone who is broken and needs fixing, but as a unique expression of the Divine, whole and complete; a perfect rose unfolding more and more each day. I want to have a clear sense of what is truly productive and not mere busy-ness.

Together my soul and I can dream the delicious future that calls to me, putter about and weave it into a visionary tapestry. I may not know what it means yet and I may not be able to control the form, but I can listen deeply, beneath the ego’s complaints and rest in the inner knowing that I am deeply loved and held. It’s OK to simply be me following my own rhythm. That rhythm is what gives me my desired sense of experiencing time-out-of-time.

photo of collage detail

Under the window of the collage

And you, dear reader, how will you dance to your own rhythm and fashion a life that suits your soul and invites the assistance of the Universe in a profound way?

A coach is a powerful ally who assists you with visioning a future in alignment with your true rhythm and soul’s calling while also helping you stay the path when the forest gets thick and the way unclear. I offer several options to help you fall in love with life again. Watch also for an upcoming FUN way to move through your fears (group program). To sign up to be the first to hear about my new offerings or to contact me for a consultation, check out my website

Copyright© January 2015, Kathy J Loh, All rights reserved

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I was in conversation with a couple of friends the other day and one of them said she knew she was at a crossroads in her life, but she felt like she was sitting in a folding chair at that crossroads, not ready to choose a direction, not to mention a final destination.* I am reminded of the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken, and that he made a choice, presuming he could return and try the other path one day, but as he discovered, every choice point leads us to another and there really is no return. If you have ever gone back to your hometown, you know this. Nothing stays the same waiting for our return.

copyright (c) May 2013, Kathy J Loh

Many of us Baby Boomers, as we are called, are at a crossroads after having experienced others over the years; college or not, marriage or live together, children or not, divorce or stay, relocate , this job or that.  Now we find ourselves at a shared crossroads that has been called the Encore Years or our Third Act.

Many of us were young idealists during the Vietnam War era. We thought anyone over 30 was not to be trusted. We were wise beyond our years and more naïve than we knew. We’d only been on the planet for 15 to 25 years (well, this time around), but we felt so grown up. (“Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”**) This was our beginning and the road we thought we were on was marked by the sign post Change the World.

But, (screeching halt, right hand turn), we hit a crossroads as we reached our 30s, that “untrustworthy” age, and we began to chase after the American dream of another sort, homes, money, families, symbols of safety, security and comfort. Maybe you didn’t and that’s OK, but most of us did. Our idealism was funneled into joining certain political parties, contributing time and/or money to non-profits, following a guru, taking weekend personal growth workshops or haunting the self-help aisles of bookstores.

As we approach our retirement years, our children creating their own families, we find our time and mental space is freed up. We are feeling new (or abandoned) desires emerging or re-emerging. What got left behind? What went underground or became a hobby? Was it the artist, the researcher, the adventurer, the tree hugger, the idealist philosopher?  We have become the elders and some say that many of us only incarnated for the work we are up to now in our later years – to co-create a new paradigm, participate in the Big Shift.

Elders? Yes! I’m not talking about shuffling off to a retirement home and watching TV in your studio apartment all day. I’m talking about wise mentors, guides, creators. I’m not talking about pontificating at a family gathering as everyone rolls their eyes: there goes grandpa again. I’m talking about wise elders with a resonance of being that is grounded, present, trustworthy as well as actions that are in complete alignment with your soul’s calling. That calling may be difficult to hear beneath the cynical or hopeless chatter of a weary ego that has decided long ago that anything outside its comfort zone is unattainable. It takes willingness and courage to stop, pull out that folding chair and sit a spell, be quiet, listen deeply with great patience and curiosity.

For many, the crossroads is the result of being downsized, failing health, empty nesting, retiring from a long-time career, divorce, widowhood. For others it is the simple question that won’t leave them in peace: “Is this all there is?” A sense of urgency can accompany it, especially if you are 60 and older. It’s a completely different question from the one of our youth, “what do I want to be when I grow up?” It’s more like: “ I’m grown up and closer to my end, but I might very well have a good number of years yet to live and contribute.  What still wants to happen for me to know I’ve lived a good and meaningful life and can die with few or no regrets?”

And that is the crossroads you may come to face; the one where you can choose to continue the rest of your days in a comfort zone of the familiar or embark on an adventure into unknown territory, uncertain of the outcome, becoming more familiar with an unfamiliar you.  When I say an adventure, I am not saying that you must change everything in your life. Your life may look exactly the same in form and situation, but how you perceive it, whom you are as you are living it, even how you perceive the life you have lived so far, will be different and everyone will notice.

So, I suggest that when you find yourself at a crossroads, you take your time and pull out that folding chair. There is much to be done in the sitting. I think we all too often are propelled onto a path to avoid the discomfort of being present to our inner world and our soul’s requests.  It’s so much easier and so much more familiar to just get busy doing something again. Instead, take time to be still, to review and celebrate. Heck yes, celebrate! Get out of that chair sometimes and dance around with joy for the life you have lived so far and who you had to be to live it. No one gets this far without a bruised and battered heart and that heart, broken so wide open, is raring to dance.

This is the work that my clients do with me on my year-long Walkabouts.  We stand, we sit, we dance at the crossroads together.  We take a look back and see what needs your attention.  We recontextualize your past. You set down the burdens carried to this point and make a commitment to travel lightly. We laugh, we cry, we celebrate and a new story of your life emerges. This is the truer story that can carry the more real and soulful you forward, whereas the old story might have weighed you down.

You’ll spend some time sitting in the folding chair, or a granite boulder, or on a meditation cushion, listening, contemplating, becoming deeply intimate with you, the beating of your heart, the power of your breath, the stirrings of your soul, your radiant essence, your wild nature. This sitting becomes something that gets woven into your journey of transformation. It is a time of ambiguity, of not knowing and getting more comfortable with that. It is a time where you begin to surprise yourself and discover the sheer pleasure of being a beginner again as you vision and fashion what and how you want to use your wisdom and gifts in the years ahead.

Bring your folding chair along as you embark in your chosen direction. There will be other times you will want to sit a spell while traveling further and further onto the frontiers of your thinking, your emotions, expanding your energy and your world, exploring beyond the familiar and comfortable box that has so neatly contained you all these years. This internal and external exploration begins to weave a tapestry and that tapestry is the very fabric of the new you who now engages in their world in a profoundly new way. Not so oddly enough, that means the world engages with you in a profoundly new and magical way as well.

I call my path the Wisdom Path. What path calls to you?

Discover your unique path on a year long Walkabout with me. I invite you to contact me at kathyloh@coachkathy.com   We’ll set up a phone conversation where I will answer your questions and we can explore whether or not this is the right step for you at this time, as well as whether or not we make good companion explorers.  I am only accepting 6 Walkabout clients in 2014, so it this calls to you, contact me soon.

* The metaphor of a folding chair at the crossroads was attributed by my friend to Stephen Cope, but I have been unable to locate an exact quote.

** From the song My Back Pages written by Bob Dylan, made popular by The Byrds.

Copyright © Dec 2, 2013, Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

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Spring Equinox – when the day and night are of equal length – is tomorrow for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.

With a new storm coming in and the lights flickering threatening to take me off line and detain me from posting this, it doesn’t much feel like Spring. Then again, Spring can be expected to be every bit as active as Winter, in its own way. Whereas stormy Winter is a time of hibernation and going inward, Spring is a time of emergence and new life. So, maybe I can think of this latest storm, after a week of truly magnificent weather, as a new foal kicking up its heels for the first time; everything and everyone feeling their oats. (Oh gosh, now I’m hearing Marvin Gaye singing “Let’s get it on.”) And I digress…I know, just when you thought it was going to get interesting!

This Spring Equinox, I invite you to explore, describe or express the landscape you will cultivate as the days grow longer and the Winter fights to be remembered but will, as it must, give way to Spring.  Write it, paint it, dance it, sing it, drum it. Allow Spring to introduce itself anew to you in dreams and meditations. However it feels right for you, let it flow out of you from your deepest connection to what matters most for you.

Then take another look and see what, in metaphor and symbolic, soulful dreamscape, you are creating for the landscape or the field known as you.

(A note for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere:  Fall is a time of harvesting the fruits of our labor and letting go. The first storms will rip the leaves right off of the trees and the first frosts promote deadlines for harvest.  What is the landscape you will create for Autumn?)

mushroom

Back to Spring. I’ll go first….

The landscape of my Spring

I want to work with the natural wild landscape that is already here.

Put some benches in the best sitting spots for all kinds of moods.

Some memorable moments will come for me on those benches and often, they will be shared with others.

I will cultivate invitations to birds, butterflies, wildlife and fairies.

I want to prune the fruit trees to give them the best chance to produce new fruit on last year’s wood.

I want to clear open space for Medicine Wheel work, meditation and ceremony.

I will nourish the energies of play and love.

I will grow flowers with color and express delight at every mushroom that pops up under the pine needles.

I know that each corner of the landscape has its own gift to offer.  Beauty is not always pretty.

If it doesn’t rain enough I will water the land.

If there is too much sun, I will provide shade.

In all instances, I will honor this landscape and if something wants to go, I will not argue; will not hold on.

I will gather the fallen twigs and branches and burn them.

I will till a specifically designated bed for growing organic vegetables and herbs and will compost the remains of what I have consumed to nourish what is just now growing.

I will wander and I will be still.

I will listen

and

I

will

make

noise.

And you, dear reader, what is the landscape of your Spring?

Copyright © March 2013, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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 “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

On this auspicious Winter Solstice 12/21/12 I am writing to you from my new home on 2.5 acres in the sierra foothills. The snow is falling, the wind is blowing, trees are swaying while the most tenacious leaves and pine needles are hurling themselves to the ground.

I’ve only been here a dozen days and this is the third time it has snowed. Already, I am learning to dance with the rhythm of nature, even if sometimes that dancing has me feeling like being a whirling dervish. If the skies are clear, I work like a squirrel preparing for winter. I run errands, get things tarped, make sure I have enough gas for the generator, enough food in the pantry.

I try to be prepared and not scared and I have to admit, despite the inconvenience of it all, I am thoroughly enchanted by falling snow and the majesty of giant trees.

copyright (c) 2012 Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Winter Solstice is when we begin to see longer days and shorter nights, day by day, night by night.

This particular solstice has grabbed the attention of many as the marker for the big shift, the end of the world as we know it, new beginnings. Some say it is the end of an old paradigm and the beginning of a new paradigm in which we are the creators of our reality in a whole new way. Whatever it is and whatever you feel, it is an opportunity to set powerful intentions for living a life worthy of our beautiful souls and spirits.

Today is a good day to plant the seeds of those intentions and let them take hold and root underground before cultivating them on the surface. Winter is a time to go inward, to rest and revive and maybe even re-set our body, mind, spirit and heart. When the Spring Equinox arrives, we will see our seeds sprout and we can then get into action around them. Winter is more for being.

So we set our intentions as if they are tulip bulbs in the earth of our energetic being. This is a good time to check in with ourselves. Who are we being and who is it that we need to be to create, nurture and follow through on those intentions? What within us needs to be understood, nurtured, changed, or released to become the best gardener of those “bulbs?”

It might be the way we think about things, a mindset that no longer serves us. This might be revealed to us in our judgment of self and others. Listen to what you say to yourself as well as to others. Listen with wonder and curiosity.

It might be the way we are denying our feelings or using inauthentic tactics like guilt and blame to avoid feeling what our hearts want us to experience.

It might be the way we are holding ourselves separate from our bodies, in struggle and resistance, fighting, controlling, pushing our bodies rather than listening, loving and responding.

As we build fires to keep us warm on winter nights, we can ask ourselves how we are tending the fire of our spirit. Wither our passion, zest for life, appreciation and gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us and the beauty within us?

So yes, let this be the end of the world as you know it. The end of what no longer works, of trying to constrict and constrain yourself into short little days of being awakened while enduring long, long nights of default drifting.

Today is a good day to “release your history and dance into the Mystery” as my tag line says.

You are not your history. You are a unique and deeply important expression of a Great Mystery.

You matter.

You shine.

We want to see you in majestic full bloom!

Magical Solstice to you, my lovely readers!

Invitation: I am offering a year-long one-on-one guided journey for those who wish to have a transformative and healing experience. Curious? You can read more about it here: http://www.coachkathy.com/coachingprograms.html

copyright (c) December 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

 

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Happy New Year dear readers!

A quick note before the subject at hand: It has been 4 months since I’ve written a post here. It’s not that I ran out of things to say. Actually, it’s more like I have too much to say!

There are a lot of changes coming to both my website and this blog. I hope you will come along for the ride. For now, have a fantastic new year and enjoy this and every perfectly wonderful moment.

I just completed a year-end review for my clients and thought some of you might like to use this as a guideline for your personal review.  So here it is!

I’ve broken this down into categories, most of which are part of the Wheel of Life that clients complete when they first come for coaching. Use it as a guideline, make up your own…whatever serves wonderful YOU.

Each question is meant to stir the pot, but it’s not my intention that you respond directly to the questions posed. They are just there to prompt you to muse about the year past and what you get to celebrate about how you and your reality shifted because of the attention you’ve given you/it. Too often, we are looking to arrive at some point of perfection. This leaves us doggedly running ahead for the next awareness, the next shift, the next accomplishment. We tend to forget how much we truly have to celebrate and for which we can be grateful. So don’t be shy! Pat yourself on the back!

Then I invite you to begin to look forward to 2012 and state something you intend to move, change, grow in each area. It can be a baby step or a giant leap. Whatever calls to you. If you are feeling nervous about committing anything to writing, consider this a beginning point and bring the topic to your coaching call, journal about it, create conversations with friends and family members around it. Better to point your ship toward a port of your choosing than drift at the whim of the wind and ocean swells. That is, unless you like being lost at sea.

Copyright(C) 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Personal Growth

What are you celebrating about your personal growth in 2011? How much more aware are you of the ways you trick and sabotage yourself? How much more self-nurturing and self-loving have you become? How much more often do you say what you think and mean what you say?

What would you like to open up to, develop, unfold in the area of personal growth in 2012?

Spiritual Growth

What are you celebrating about your spiritual growth in 2011? How much more connected do you feel with something greater than you; Divine, Nature, Love? How has your heart opened? What has happened to you around the area of a sense of meaning, purpose, fulfillment that you want to celebrate?

What would you like to open up to, develop, unfold in the area of Spiritual Growth in 2012? What spiritual practices do you intend to develop or explore?

Relationship – Romantic

What are you celebrating about changes in your romantic relationship (marriage, romance, dating etc) in 2011? How have you become a better partner? In what ways have you grown that feeds your relationship? If you are not in relationship and desire one, how have you improved your readiness and what are you doing to find a partner?

What would you like to create in the area of romantic relationship in 2012?

Relationship – others

What are you celebrating about changes in your relationship with others, family, children, friends, colleagues in 2011? How have you become a better listener, communicator, more compassionate, less co-dependent, etc.?

What do you want to create for yourself in the area of these and new relationships in 2012?

Career/Vocation

What are you celebrating about your career, work, vocation that shifted for you in 2011? It may be the actual form and it may be how you are in relationship to it.

What’s next for you in this area that you want to set into motion, continue or complete in 2012?

Money, Wealth, Abundance

What are you celebrating regarding your relationship to money, your sense of wealth, your capacity to manifest what you need and how has it changed in 2011?

What’s next for you here? What do you want to be more aware of, understand more deeply, put into action, manifest in 2012?

Health

How was 2011 for you in this area? What are you celebrating in terms of what habits did you release, which new behaviors did you add, what did you learn? If your body were to say thank you for all you did for it in 2011, what would it say?

What will you change, release, adopt as a new routine, behavior, etc in 2012? If you aren’t sure, ask your body.

Physical Environment

What changes did you make in your physical surroundings in 2011 that you want to celebrate? Who did you have to be to create that?

What are your 2012 visions for your physical environment, where you work, live, play?

Recreation and Fun

Where did you go and what did you do for fun in 2011 that is particularly memorable and that you are grateful you gave yourself the space and opportunity to do?

What calls to you in this area for 2012 – anything from simply more laughter with others and less TV to in-depth exploration of the hiking trails of Yosemite to reading more poetry to ??

Personal Energy Management

What did you become more aware of regarding your expenditure of energy in 2011? What are you celebrating about changes you made in both your awareness of and your use of your energy?

What would you like to see happen in this area in 2012?

Your Own Category:  Add whatever you want here. It might be something like your commitment to community, global affairs, environment, leadership, education etc. Whatever you can think of that you want to celebrate and set an intention for in 2012.

Bonus:

What is one thing you are committed to being DONE with today?

What is one thing you are committed to creating by the end of 2012?

Some additional ways to play with these are:

  • Create a short mantra/phrase for each category that you can post in an appropriate place (or put on your cell phone) to remind you of your intentions.
  • Create a collage of words, images or both that captures your 2012 intentions and either post it where you see it, or stick it behind a door, under a bed and be surprised by how much of it has come true when you see it again.
  • Write your answers on paper and put them in an envelope addressed to you. Put the envelope in a place where you’ll come across it next December – with the holiday decorations or ??
  • Make a copy of your answers. Have a simple ceremony by your fire in which you speak out loud your 2012 intentions as well as what you are celebrating and releasing. Burn your copy and let the smoke rising through the chimney be your intentions carried upon the winds and whispered among the trees into the ears of the Divine for all to be manifested for you as you intention in 2012. Let the remaining ashes be all that is left of what you have released.
  • Send Thank-You notes to the people who helped you along the way this year or to whom you are grateful for encouraging you to be your most authentic and empowered self.
  • Send yourself a thank you note.  Put it in an envelope, stamp it and put it in the mail. It’s very fun to receive something like this from yourself.
  • Write yourself 12 monthly love/encouragement notes. Put each in an envelope addressed to you and stamped. Write each month on the outside of the envelope, so that you will have 12 envelopes for the 12 months of the year. Arrange with a friend to have them mail you the notes at the beginning of each month. You can do the same for them.
  • Hire a coach to help you vision and stay on track – of course, that would be me! email me at: KathyLoh@coachkathy.com
copyright(c) December 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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This year, Winter Solstice (in the northern hemisphere) is on Tuesday December 21st. As always, I have left the day open so that I can create an intentional ritual that honors my growth this year and the vision that is unfolding for the next. If you would like some ideas about creating your own ritual, check out my 2009 Winter Solstice post.

For those of us who like to play with astrological, astronomic and symbolic events, there are some exciting things coming.

  • On the day of the Solstice we will also have a full moon with total lunar eclipse.
  • Mercury Turns Direct Dec 30th
  • For a period of about three weeks in early January, nothing in the sky will appear retrograde.
  • The Tarot guardian card for 2011 (which is a 4 year) is IV or The Emperor

Solstice, full moon, lunar eclipse

Here’s what my friend and personal astrologer, Nicki Michaels has to say about the solstice and lunar eclipse:

“The Winter Solstice, at the moment the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, is the time of deepest darkness in the northern hemisphere.  It is when many traditions honor the rebirth of the Sun and renewal of the life force.  In our culture, many gravitate towards family and friends around an illuminated evergreen tree or a menorah celebrating the miracle of light.

One meaning of the sign of Capricorn is community cohesiveness, and so in this dimly lit season, we find illumination through connection to others rather than by the Sun’s light. We naturally renew our social connections and hopefully feel strengthened by them.

This year the Winter Solstice combines with the powerful energy of a Full Moon eclipse, intensifying and deepening the experience.  Both occur on Tuesday December  21st, the Full Moon at 12:13 AM PT, and the Solstice at 3:39 PM PT.

So at this powerful and sacred Solstice moment, rejoice at the rebirth of the Sun out of the darkness and experience the open-heartedness that this season ignites. Notice where you find light in your life and move towards it. Ask what you wish to illuminate in the coming year, and allow your light to shine.”  [see note (1) below]


Allowing our light to shine may also entail facing our shadows. Facing our shadows reveals our light and releases us from the darkness.

 

“If you bring forth that which you have within you, it will save you. If you do not, it will destroy you.”

– The Gospel of Thomas


Planetary movement

When Mercury goes direct on the 30th, there will be no planets in retrograde until Saturn turns retrograde on January 27th.  Yes, Mercury’s retrograde energy lingers, but this all-planets-direct in the sky period is a window of opportunity.  According to some astrologers I’ve read, it will be a powerful time for getting things done. There will be less energetic resistance to our forward movement. If you’ve felt like you’ve been making slow progress or steady progress with lots of relapses, you will likely find the energy shifting in your favor the first few weeks of January.

Sun in clouds copyright (c) Dec 2009, Kathy J Loh

This informs my ritual in this way

I’m looking to complete anything that still feels incomplete and release the energy so that I can rest in a beautiful space of silence and integration. I am also germinating seeds that I sowed this year, trusting that they are growing under the best of conditions.  I am setting an intention to make myself more available to community and to make community more available to me.

I was at a book-signing last night for Transforming in 2012 by Debra Giusti, et al.  Two authors, Marilyn Schlitz and Steve Bhaerman (aka Swami Beyondananda) spoke. Both spoke to the necessity of creating community as we make the shift from our old-consciousness story to the new story. We are in the process of creating that story now (or it is creating us, which is to say it is a co-creative process).

This delighted me since I have considered posting my very first ever predictions blog post and one of the predictions is the new level of meaning community will have for us. Here you get a preview:

Stop trying to do everything yourself. It’s not going to work anymore. Create community. ‘nuff said.


And what about the Emperor?

He is a symbol of the divine masculine. He is about creating structures that will sustain and nurture that which is birthed. I’m thinking of it as stakes, trellises and netting that will support the seedlings as they grow taller. As Pamela Eakins says in her book The Tarot of Spirit :

“Build a firm base of clear knowledge; do not become too rigid; remain open and lucid to retain control, know and serve a higher force; build your world in beauty and light; do not forget that the Emperor remains Emperor because he has a global sense of things that others do not necessarily possess, yet he will be overthrown if he does not serve his constituents; to remain in power, use your insight and serve those around you.”

Whereas last year’s guardian, The Empress, is the creator of all form, the Emperor illuminates the structure of all form.

Forms will be birthed and there needs to be an ongoing nurturing and sustaining of those forms for them to thrive. In 2011, the energy of the Emperor assists us with that. Whether we are creating a home, a product, a business, an organization, or a new world, the Emperor is with us and offers us wisdom.  Perhaps the most profound message is to serve, from the perspective of what the soul knows and sees.

When we look at our own structures in life, we may think of the word discipline. I remind myself that discipline means to be a “disciple to.” To what will I be a disciple in 2011? We are all disciples to many things simply by way of auto-pilot. What wants, invites and requires our conscious, intentional devotion now? Let’s be discerning about that.

The window and the calling:

Taking this back to the solstice (the time when we shift from ever shorter days to ever longer ones), the full moon – lunar eclipse, the direction of the planets, and the turning of the year, we can use this time as a powerful energetic surge, a kind of wave, to carry us powerfully toward all that we generate.  We are always generating something. Let’s be conscious in our co-creating.

 

It is my belief that all that calls to be created is calling from the new story.

Are we listening? How will we respond?

It is this new story that we are serving.

What is our degree of willingness?


As the days of increasing light return, let’s generate and inspire hope for ourselves, for our world.

We are called forth by our hearts to form community to nurture and sustain this new story. Each member of the community, you being one of them, contributes a vital and unique role. You are needed.

As Nicki advises:  “Ask what you wish to illuminate in the coming year, and allow your light to shine.”


Wishing you all an enchanted holiday season!


(1) For a deeper understanding of the Winter Solstice, read what Dane Rudhyar says about the the sign of Capricorn and Winter Solstice. Learn more about Nicki Michaels and her astrology services. Please note that the paragraphs contributed by Nicki are also copyrighted material and used here by permission.

Copyright© December 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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