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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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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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I love New Years Day.

As much as I also love Winter Solstice, it falls too close to the holidays and gets trampled beneath the feet of travel and shopping, for me to completely find rest and peace on that day. But New Years Day falls after all the craziness and I get to be home, me alone, without obligation or interruption of any sort, wandering through the day in any way I choose.

My Winter Solstice ritual is fairly simple. My New Years activities are greater in number.

I begin by spending New Year’s Eve in the way that most suits what my body, mind, spirit and heart ask of me. This year, I had a cold and I decided to, speak with one of my best friends, watch a movie, participate in an East Coast 15 minute meditation with Ping Li for the new year by teleconference (which means I get to do it at 9pm) and then take a bath listening to Hawaiian slack key guitar music.

I decided to get a jump on my New Years divination activities by completing the evening with a Flying Bird spread using Osho Zen Tarot cards. Doing divination is a way for me to co-create with the Divine. So I call it Divine-ing.  I’ve done this for the past few years and last year’s spread spoke to me all year long in the most profound ways, so I wanted to see what might happen this year.

As I lay out the spread, I became disconcerted. I was tired and the quick interpretation I did of it made little sense to me. I decided to sleep on it.

This morning, I reviewed the spread referring to the expanded version of Osho’s book as well as using Pamela Eakins’ Tarot of the Spirit book. I was thrilled with what the cards portend. The cards fell as a continuation of last year’s spread and gave me a peek into an adventurous 2011.

After that, I began my other favorite divinations: pulling a Healing with the Angels card, two Spirit Cards (I AM and I WILL) and sitting in meditation. Near the beginning of my sitting, I heard a hummingbird, but there was none by the window and the sound came from my altar which houses my crystals and animal totems. It dawned on me that I might pull an Animal Medicine Card as the animal guide for the year and then randomly open to a page in the Crystal Bible to find a crystal guide for the year. Not surprisingly, yet delightfully, the two were well connected in essence.

I tell you about the practice without revealing the actual cards, because my meditation practices are for the most part private, unless I choose to reveal them for teachings (as I did in Movin’ On (take 3) Un-boxed and Settling In) I enjoy giving you some ideas for what you might do with divination for the new year. This is a practice aside from vision boards, vision stories, setting goals and choosing words for the year.

Speaking of choosing words, I noticed that a number of my Facebook friends were choosing their words for 2011. Choosing. Great coaching word. At first, I resisted, and then I thought, I will randomly pick a word from the dictionary and see what comes up, for fun.

Floating sculpture in Paris Fountain copyright (c) Sept 2006, Kathy J Loh

Intuition

You see, I love the random choices. That’s why I do divination. If I choose something, there’s a good chance I will choose from my mind. I will choose something I think should be the word, symbol, focus. I do plenty of that with my business and goal setting. What I want is an infusion from my intuition and I use the divination methods as a way to pop my thinking outside of its well-worn grooves. Sometimes, the cards make no sense, at least not to my logical mind and certainly not to my ego’s goals. The ego’s sense of timing is completely different from the soul, for the most part. Divination or randomness has a way of teaching me, through gradual unfolding of understanding, how these cards, these symbols, play out in my life over the year.

Making sense out of chaos requires creative thinking and maybe the process begins with making chaos out of sense. I take the cards seriously and not seriously at all.

The divination from 2010 revealed treasures that sparkled for me, that reflected a me I could not see at first.  They pulled me back time and again to a spacious way of being with myself and circumstances.

2010’s Flying Bird spread unfolded miraculously. I kept it on the wall in my mediation room and referred to it from time to time. I could see how all cards were dynamically active all year long and at the same time guiding me down my evolutionary pathway.

My angel cards from last year, Divine Timing and Manifestation, were a constant reminder to be patient whenever I got upset with the timing of things.

Anyway – back to the word. I pulled a dictionary off the shelf and flipped back and forth until the moment felt right and I stabbed a page with my finger, but the page I struck was blank. I thought the pages had flipped, but they hadn’t.

I decided to try it again with a thesaurus as if a different book might be the key. My finger landed in between entries, pointing to a completely blank spot.

“OK” I said to no one in particular and someone watching over me. “I guess you don’t want me to have a word.”  (I knew there were plenty of other interpretations, but I chose to be disinterested.)

I headed upstairs to unpack from my trip and create a laundry pile. There on the floor, previously unnoticed was a Spirit Card that said:

Passion

I laughed, just as I had squealed with delight when I pulled some of my other cards today. I like the way the Mystery plays with me.

That’s my word for 2011. Passion.  If you knew the other cards I pulled, you’d know there could not be a more suitable word.  There is plenty to explore when contemplating passion. There is so much more for me to know about this word and all it symbolizes, not to mention so much to embody.

So there you have it. I’ve revealed my word. The rest will remain a mystery for now.

I’m heading off to play with structures:

  • What are the structures and practices, what is the scaffolding that will support dancing in the Mystery?
  • What is the framework that will bend and flex with me as I explore the frontier of my own thinking?
  • What is the calendar of the heart, the timepiece of the soul?

I’ll be writing about this over the coming months.

I’m deeply grateful for each and every one of you dear readers. Your comments and email notes mean a lot to me and I love our connection.

Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Coming up: my first ever “predictions” post. Stay tuned!

words and images copyright (c) January 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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I am incredibly fortunate to have a mom who reads my blog, likes it and, from time to time, comments on it. So mom, I know you are reading and this one’s for you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Mom sent me an email after reading my March 19, 2010 post: Spring Equinox Musings with a Touch of Mystery. In it, she wrote: “Always enjoy witnessing your awareness of all nature. Reminds me very much of my mother. “

I got a chuckle from that. It’s true, Grandma was a nature lover. She sent me books about animals and birds. My favorite (and it still sits on my shelf) was a big picture book of birds that included a small record of their songs.  I also received from her plastic models of birds (one was a red-headed woodpecker) which I assembled (no warships for me). I can still smell the paint I used to color them. Whenever grandma came to visit, we’d go to places like the zoo, the aquarium, the hummingbird exhibit, or, if it was spring, to the desert to see the flowers in bloom.

Yet, as much influence as my grandmother had on my love for nature, my mother’s impact was even more profound. Here are some of my memories.

I remember (at about 8 years of age) standing on the front lawn of our suburban home staring up at the night sky. We were stargazing. With a little book in her hands, mom pointed out Orion’s Belt, the Big and Little Dippers and other constellations. In those days you could still see the night sky in most parts of San Diego. Not so true now. That book was Seeing Stars by W.B.White, published in 1935 and I have it right in front of me now. The binding is held together with scotch tape. The title page bears the inscription:

“To [my mom’s name] from Aunt Leah Dec 10, 1940.”

It also has my own name scrawled in pencil by my 8-year-old hand. To this day, I am an avid stargazer and opponent of light pollution.

Thanks mom!

Two other books that have traveled with me all these years are: Golden Nature Guides to Birds and Golden Nature Guides to Insects.  Everywhere we went, mom would point out the birds. She knew their names and if we could not identify them, we would go to the bookshelf and pull out one of the guides, either the Peterson Field Guide to Birds or one of several amazing books of Audubon drawings. I used to trace them with pencil and tracing paper and then color the birds appropriately, much as I painted my little models.

Thanks mom!

Yellow Warbler copyright (c) Kathy J Loh

Yellow Warbler (K J Loh)

Our family did a lot of camping together. We’d pack up the yellow Mercury wagon with tent, cots, sleeping bags, a big cooler, boxes of food and camping equipment and our suitcases. Most of the time, we stayed at CA state or national parks. A visit to the nature center at each park was a must and it wasn’t so that we could buy trinkets. It was to get educated about the local flora and fauna. Then we’d hit the nature trails with the little brochure in hand and stop at every numbered sign. Mom would read the brochure notes out loud to us. Dad would get impatient. It wasn’t that he wasn’t interested, but he liked to keep moving. He was an active guy. Even if there was a large sign we could all read, mom would read it out loud. It’s no wonder I became an audio learner (or perhaps it’s lucky that I was born that way) because I got so much of my nature education listening to mom’s voice.

Thanks mom!

Mom was the leader of my Girl Scout troop for a while. Though some of the badges were for rather domestic things (like how to make a bed – can you imagine?) her support of me in scouts also led me to camp where I encountered lots of new and interesting wildlife, like the raccoon that was staring nose to nose with me when I awoke one morning. In scouts we also went into a canyon in Torrey Pines, located wild animal tracks indented in dried mud and made plaster casts of them. I learned to call squirrels with a clicking between tongue and cheek. We watched jays eat our picnic lunch, encountered giant ant hills under our sleeping bags and hiked to the tops of mountains. I was a little chubby as a kid and those hikes were not my favorite time, but I got to see lots of different kinds of plants and animals that live at higher elevations.

Thanks mom!

I grew a deep appreciation for the magical springtime appearance of wildflowers that were only on display a short while. We caught fireflies and put them in jars or paper bags in my bedroom at night. I learned to always be on the lookout for wildlife, for a splash of color hidden in the grasses, for some movement or shadow that gave away the presence of a bird or butterfly overhead. I learned that every creature and every plant had a name and if I wanted to know what it was I could “look it up.” Those words will ring forever in my ears.

Thanks mom!

There was a time when I rebelled against knowing the names of things. My rational was that a tree is no less beautiful if I know it to be a tree or an oak. In my wisdom now, I know that it is powerful to speak names. It is powerful to speak our names and it is powerful to speak the name of a tree, a flower, a bird. There may be spirit names for them that we don’t know (unless we listen and the tree reveals it), but we all can feel that an oak and a redwood are not the same. Their energies, wisdom and medicine are uniquely their own, not only from genus to genus, family to family, but from tree to tree.  So to call it by its name, even the one humans have supplied, is to honor the tree. And if I have to take the time and go to the effort to identify that tree, insect, flower, constellation using my guides or on the internet, then I will, eagerly.

Thanks mom!

Wild Iris - copyright (c) Kathy J Loh

Wild Iris

I used to gather flowers and leaves and press them between sheets of wax paper with an iron. I still gather feathers, shells, rocks, leaves, and wildflowers that I press between pages in my guidebooks. I take photographs of every flower, butterfly, insect, bird, tree, moss, mushroom, rock that calls to me when I am hiking and I even record the calls of birds by day and hooting of owls at night. On my hikes, I say “hello beautiful” to the amazing creatures I come across and I let melodies drift from the wind, into my consciousness and out my vocal chords as I go. I observe the changing of seasons and the cycles of growth, of moons, the way everything changes. I marvel at the many shapes of clouds and catch as many sunsets as I can. For me, the world is alive and magical. I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is traveling with delight and being truly enchanted by the Great Mystery

Thanks mom!

Thank you, mom, for teaching me to love and honor the world around me and to find delight and wonder in the beauty of nature.  There’s something about that love that I have for nature that cycles back and I always feel loved by the nature in return. This is how I know, in my being, that I truly belong.

Thanks for teaching me to slow down long enough to observe; that there is a time to be getting one’s exercise and a time to be present to our surroundings.

Thanks for teaching me to “look it up.” I know you probably never thought you’d hear me thank you for that, considering all the times I complained about it, but I am a master researcher as a result.

And mom, while I may remind you of your mother, my grandmother,  I am truly my mother’s daughter. It has taken me many years to be OK with that. Most of us don’t want to hear those words “You’re just like your mother.” Now I am not just OK with it, I am thrilled and extremely grateful. I could not have been any more fortunate and I know, truly know, why my soul picked you. And I didn’t even get to mention the ballet and music lessons, money management, writing skills,  gardening, pruning roses or my ability to cook from scratch. Yes, Dad was influential too and there are many memories I have that come from that side of the parental team. I’ll write about him next month.

So here it is, from my heart to yours , mom.

Happy Mothers Day!

And yes, I did interrupt writing this post several times to take photos of creatures that sailed by my window while I was writing; one Turkey Vulture,a Variable Checkerspot and Tiger Swallowtail butterflies, a Red-tailed Hawk  and a Carpenter Bee.

Note to readers: thank you for indulging me this personal thank you letter to my mother. It is my hope that you will be inspired to write your own love letter to your mother as well as to know the treasure you are to your daughters and sons.

copyright(c) May 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Newspapers, blogs and newscasts are bursting with images of the past decade and best of 2009 lists. I’ve participated in some of it. I enjoy the retrospection and introspection of it all, but  today, I’m cranky.

I was going to write about the blue moon, the eclipse, everything appearing to go backwards in the sky and how that will impact our resolutions. I was going to write something about creating intentions for the new year, the new decade. I was going to suggest various activities including collages, stories and letters to self. I kept putting it off because, quite frankly, it was boring me; all this coach-speak.

New Year’s  Day is my favorite holiday. It’s a bona-fide do-nothing holiday that one is not required to spend with family. That means, I get it all to myself, at home, in the woods, and that’s usually how I spend it. I plot out what I know about the year ahead, I hike, I put birthdays on the new calendar. I dream into an entire year in one day and then I pop back again to the present. Most often I end up completely disoriented by all the “time travel.”

I pull an angel card and two Spirit Cards (I AM and I WILL) for the year and I will pay attention to how they speak to me all year long. Early in January, I attend a Tarot Pilgrimage with Pamela Eakins and I pull a Tarot of the Spirit card for every month of the year. I divine the year and then I see what unfolds.

I have intentions. I intend to make more money. I intend to find a larger home. I intend to play more music and I intend to fall in love at least long enough to have some fun. None of these intentions are new. I’ve been intending them for many months if not the entire prior year. (OK, my whole life.) I put my spirit, heart and mind into these intentions, but it takes awhile for physical form to catch up. So, while I wait, I try to keep up with the Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Here’s the thing. With all the astro-activity going on, we don’t stand a chance! Mercury is retrograde until January 15th. That means we will over-research things before acting, we will over-think things and our electronics and our communication will be out of whack. Travel generally suffers then as well. Additionally, Mars is retrograde and that leaves us with lower energy. Mars tests us. As astrologist Risa D’Angeles points out:

“When retrogrades occur it means the information and energy we’ve built up since the last retrograde now needs to be assessed and reviewed. The entire world is to go into a contemplative phase. It is a time of retreat and quietude.”

January 1st or not, we are in a portion of the cycle that is not conducive to starting new behaviors and ventures in an active to-do way.

Now, if that’s not enough to deflate one’s resolution balloon, perhaps science will. It seems that will power is handled by the same part of the brain that handles short term memory. The more we are trying to do in any one moment, the less will power we have.  If you want to know about the studies that show this, read the Wall Street Journal article, Blame it on the Brain.  Meanwhile, if you can be like Buddha and sit under the Bodhi tree, you might stand a chance of having enough will power to stop eating sugar, stop smoking, and keep that daily dose of wine to 4 ounces.

Finally, New Year’s Eve sees a blue moon; the second full moon in a month. This is the first one to happen on NY Eve in 20 years and the next time this occurs will be in 2028. We say once-in-a-blue moon because it means something that rarely happens. This blue moon will be partially eclipsed and eclipses mean some things will disappear from our physical reality. This might be a good thing and it might not. It depends upon what it is that disappears from your reality and how attached to it you are.

But wait, there’s more!

Risa explains that the moon goes void-of-course on January 1st and the impact it can have is that our lives and routines may feel disrupted. Perhaps this is good if we want to change habits. Perhaps it is not.

If you are able to follow through on your resolutions from day 1, it will truly be a once-in-a-blue-moon miracle.

footprints in sand

One step at a time (K J Loh)

So here’s what I intend to do about it:

Very little!

Very little steps

Very little effort

Here’s how I intend to be with it:

Very aware

Moving with ease

Gentle with myself

I plan on making every day New Year’s Day, evolving my capacity to bring exquisite awareness to each moment and mindfulness to activities. I plan on making every evening New Year’s Eve by reviewing the day, forgiving myself for failings and celebrating successes. I’ll calibrate and re-connect with my heart for improved navigation.  I’ll regroup and reground, so that whatever winds may blow, I’ll be in touch with that which centers me.

Things change when we place our awareness upon them.  Our once-in-a-blue-moon miracles stand a chance if we cast our intentions from our brilliant imaginations and open hearts and become present enough to be response-able in each moment.

I plan to fail and flail and sail and I intend to have a good time doing it.

After all, it’s not about control. It’s about Love.

Here’s a little Blue Moon song for you, dear readers!

Copyright (c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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