Photo Credit-IG: Spiritual Enlightenment Quotes
The term “Self Care” has an association with bubble baths or indulgence in material comforts. Self Focus can sound selfish. However, Self Care and Self Focus are what make us thrive as individuals and is much more rooted in self empowerment and the reality in which we create.
On July 31, 2019 (or August 1, 2019 depending on location) we will enter a new moon phase in the zodiac sign of Leo. All new moons are about planting seeds and new beginnings. This moon is all about personal power and beginnings where that power is actualized. The Sun, Moon, Venus, and Mars will all be in Leo during this moon, opening the door for fresh perspective, new action, and even new love. This is a bright and positive moon full of new possibilities. This new moon is a much needed breath of fresh air after the cosmic turbulence of multiple planetary retrogrades in July and the 2019 eclipse season.
Mercury went retrograde back on July 7th and will be stationing direct in the zodiac sign of Cancer on July 31st. Mercury retrograde is a well known cosmic event that can disrupt communications, plans, technology, and travel. The advice of a Mercury Retrograde season is about slowing down and reviewing and where we need re-direction. Mercury going direct coinciding this moon is a call to action. It is time to pick up where you left off at the end of June. What new action is needed on your goals after the mercury pause?
We are coming out the 2019 Eclipse season of July. Eclipses are strong cosmic events that often remove people and things from our lives. This past eclipse season may have cleared a path and aided Pluto’s retrograde in decluttering your life. This new moon gives us a clean slate to start anew.
The Sun rules Leo who represents “me” or “I” in the zodiac. It is an energy of our personal power and solar plexus chakra often represented by the king of the jungle- the lion. It is an energy about where we stand strong and where we can stand stronger. This is a very masculine go-getter energy. Leo energy loves being noticed and taking the spotlight. Leo energy is about standing tall, being true to yourself and values. Leo energy loves to bring people together and is often generous and loving. The Strength card in the tarot is the major arcana card representation of Leo. It is an energy about taming the beast within and overcoming tough emotions and doubt to achieve our goals. Leo, unevolved, can be very proud and attention seeking. He can also be overbearing and controlling. Be careful of pomp and circumstance just to protect your ego.
Venus moved into Leo in the latter part of July, the ruler of love, money, and aesthetic. This new moon may bring in new love or ignite passion in a long standing connection. You may feel a jolt of confidence and put yourself out there in a way you never have before. You may feel a bit extra. This is an aspect that pushes us to be bold in love-to take center stage. You may also be tempted to overindulge in the finer things and be more generous to your fellow man. Venus is also about higher learning and devotion. Your gestures of devotion may also be on the side of the dramatic.
Mars is the planet of action, war, and aggression. After the stalemate of Mercury Retrograding, this energy is a necessary propulsion to do what needs to be done to reach our goals. Mars can be a harried and pushy energy. It can be a bit rash and impulsive. Mars can make people speak harshly and act in a way that is not well thought through. Being in Leo, Mars may motivate you to rush towards a new opportunity that symbolizes your personal power. It may also push you to leap before you think. However, Venus is a feminine energy that will help soften the Mars aspect to this moon, so you can take needed action that isn’t just out of impulse.
Uranus is in Taurus and will have a heavy aspect to this moon. Uranus shakes things up and disrupts established order. An event or situation may bubble up that challenges the status quo. This may seem unsettling or hard to digest, but Uranus is clearing away something stealing your personal power. With Uranus being in Taurus, who rules the second house of finances, the shakeup may have to do with spending or something consuming your coins that is hindering your personal power. Uranus energy can seem disruptive, but this planet is clearing a path for your highest good. Allow whatever it knocks down to pass out of your life. This is a necessary obstacle for you to work through.
Neptune and Chiron will also have aspects to this moon. Neptune energy is about dreams and spirituality. Neptune energy can be positive in that it lets us dream big, but he can also create confusion and cloud our judgement on what is realistic. Allow yourself to dream big, but don’t get too lost in fantasy or make a commitment that isn’t maintainable. With Chiron being in the mix, currently in Aries, areas of healing will come up for review. Chiron will aid in healing areas affecting personal power. What past pain or events are causing you self doubt? It’s time to see it as part of your story that has made you all the wiser. No more excuses.
Keep in mind the negative aspects of the planetary energy at work here. Get all the facts before making a big move. Don’t cling to something needing to make an exit. Stay in the present. The past cannot be undone.
There is a lot of big energy around this moon. It’s time to be bold and put yourself out there. What action is needed over the next months to reach your goals of 2019? What lessons have you gained? It’s time to embrace your personal power and walk forward with confidence. You’ve got this!
On July 2, 2019, in the afternoon hours, we will enter a new moon phase in the zodiac sign of Cancer. This new moon is significant in that it coincides multiple planets in retrograde and a solar eclipse. This moon will be cleansing and deeply emotional, compounded with eclipse energy, expect some major change ups and revelations, especially involving what is near and dear.
Cancer is a water sign and is ruled by the Moon. The moon rules our emotions, which are represented by water. The moon also represents our intuition and emotional intelligence. Cancer also represents feminine emotional energy, connection to our mother and maternal nurturing. She is a cardinal sign who often can have a more childlike approach to relationships. Cardinal signs welcome in the change of a season-a change in the season of life.
Cancer is a deeply emotional sign with a crustacean shell. She is hard to crack. The crab does not like to be vulnerable and keeps their deepest feelings safe inside their shell. Cancer is a family oriented sign who is very dedicated to those in her world. She is childlike and playful. She also hates to disappoint others and can hold a grudge like no other. Cancer prefers to be at home and around people that feel like home and make them feel safe. She is often very entertaining and very nurturing. She can be a bit of people pleaser.
Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto, and Neptune are currently in retrograde and Mercury is currently in shadow to go retrograde July 7th. Mercury is one of the most powerfully felt retrogrades, but during a new moon, especially an eclipse, all of these energies will be magnified.
Jupiter is retrograding in its home sign of Sagittarius. Jupiter and Sagittarius are energies about luck, travel, expansion and higher learning. This energy can create an itch to travel, dive deeper and learn something new, or a lust for new experiences. It could represent the culmination of efforts or reaching the final benchmark of something you have worked hard for.
Saturn is retrograding in its home sign of Capricorn. Capricorn is the hard worker of the zodiac and known for keeping the “nose to the grindstone.” Saturn is about boundaries, routine, and discipline. Areas of your life where you need more boundaries or issues of work/life balance could come into focus. Also, issues around a father figure or what reigns over you could come into focus.
Pluto is retrograding in Capricorn as well. Pluto is a planet of death and rebirth. Being in Capricorn, you may feel a need to declutter your life and let go of what seems impractical. This can also be a physical declutter and a call to organize your physical world. You will feel a need to shed what is dead and old to make space for change.
Neptune is retrograding in its home sign of Pisces. Neptune is a planet about dreams, spirituality, and intuition. Pisces is a water sign that is very dreamy and a hopeless romantic. With Neptune retrograding in its home sign, this will draw us to focus on intuition and our emotional nature. It is a lesson on listening to inner knowing and dive deeper. You may crave deeper connection around this moon. It is a good time to start a spiritual practice or reprioritize an existing practice.
Mercury will be in shadow about to go retrograde on the 7th and that will have an affect on this moon. Mercury goes retrograde multiple times a year and is usually well known by even the most novice astrology follower. It is a cosmic event that creates a lot of fear mongering. Mercury is a planet that controls communication, planning, travel, thoughts, and ideas. In retrograde, misunderstandings can arise, plans get hazy, and forward motion can be full of missteps. It’s just a period the sky is asking us to slow down. It is time to re-review, re-examine, and re-prioritize. Also, Mercury is retrograding in Leo. This energy can be filled with passion and a desire to be seen and noticed. Communications can also come off as strong and demanding when maybe they are not intended to be. People can seem very self focused. The mishaps of Mercury retrograde typically draw us closer to areas in our lives that need attention. Aspecting Leo, this could make you evaluate how you communicate and express yourself.
So on top of all that, we have two eclipses this month, the first one a solar eclipse coinciding this new moon. Eclipses can bring people back and cut people out. The past comes back to finish up a cycle or a lesson. A flailing relationship may reach its final demise. A sudden opportunity pops up out of nowhere. An eclipse is also a great time to quit a bad habit. The energy can aid in easing that which is hindering you out of your life. It can also bring literal birth and death.
So what does all this mean? This moon is really going to be focusing on safety and nurturing elements. What makes you feel of service to others? Where are you over giving? Where do you need support? What makes you feel loved and safe? Your inner child is coming out. Let’s get out and play.
Eclipses typically bring in endings. Sometimes the ending taking weeks or months to fully materialize. You may also realize where you need more boundaries and routine needed to reach your goals leading to removals. This is a challenge to go with the flow and pay attention to what is not flowing. Re-evaluate and re-group.
Be careful not to let the clingy Cancer energy wedge an idea in your brain or view of a person that is a little naive. It will have major holding power. Hold out until you get more information and learn more. Illusion and fantasy can come easy this moon with Neptune retrograding in Pisces. Understand that people may over promise or stretch the truth a bit more. It’s not always intentionally deceptive, but well intentioned unrealistic expectations. Pisces and Neptunian energy can really create an environment where we are not seeing things clearly or communicating clearly.
Let’s slow down and keep it light.
Below is a list of behaviors of Codependency as relayed by Mental Health America. I added some personal notes to this list and is no way exhaustive.
• An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others.
• A tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue.
• A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time.
• A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts.
• An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything to hold on to a relationship to avoid the feeling of abandonment.
• An extreme need for approval and recognition.
• A sense of guilt when asserting themselves. A feeling that your needs and feelings don’t matter or are less significant.
• A compelling need to control others-as a way to avoid abandonment.
• Lack of trust in self and/or others.
• Fear of being abandoned or alone.
• Difficulty identifying feelings.
• Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change.
• Problems with intimacy/boundaries.
• Chronic anger.
• Poor communication.
• Difficulty making decisions.
I am a Codependent in recovery. I have engaged in all of the above behaviors, and some not listed. I have been in recovery for a little over a year, and continuously see areas of growth for myself. However, I have achieved a level of confidence and self esteem that has escaped me much of my life. I hope to help anyone struggling with these issues and encourage others to seek the help they need.
Below is my personal struggle with Codependency and how I got to where I am today. It wasn’t easy and still requires a desire to learn, learn more, honesty, self awareness, and continually practice compassion with self-compassion. Daily, I am presented with choices- a choice reflective of my growth or reflective of what is no longer serving me.
Before I Discovered I was Codependent
Until the end of 2017, I struggled with finding peace and contentment in my life. I kept searching for the next relationship, friendship, project, habit, job, life path or belief system to give me what seemed to continuously allude me-self love. On the outset, I really did not know that self love was what I was searching for or missing. Yet in the process realized self love and self acceptance was really the solution to my struggles and deep healing.
Like many Codependents, I was raised in an environment lacking the nurturing and love that I needed. I was the product of many generations of emotional, sexual, and psychological abuse. It is easy to make my parents the villains, but they did the best they could with the skill sets they have. However, I am not saying understanding this, excuses abuse and mistreatment, but understanding that it was mostly unintentional, helped me have compassion and therefore self compassion. It helped me embrace the yin/yang or light/darkness that makes us all. Part of my healing was forgiving my parents and mourning the childhood I deserved and was deprived of.
From a young age, either directly or indirectly, the message communicated to me was that my needs, feelings, and wants were insignificant. In order to survive, I had to shrink down and put everyone else ahead of me. I did not have the freedom to be a care free child. If I loved myself, than I mattered-so I never learned how to love myself.
Along with an inner belief that what I need, want, and feel is not important, as a coping mechanism to deal with trauma, I learned at a young age to disassociate and ignore myself. I have an ability to “check out” and detach from chaos ensuing around me. I have an ability to push through it and hold it together even if inside I am falling apart.
I am the person who functions best under pressure and can still function when many crumble in the face of a crisis.
I often find myself very detached from my feelings due to these skill sets. Situations arise and I will feel strong emotion that I cannot quite label. I may have conflict, an uncomfortable situation that really hurts me, yet, I am not be able to identify what really hurt me or even recognize that I am feeling emotion about it at all. I’ll even blame something totally unrelated for my feelings.
This lack of self-awareness or ignoring self, as I call it, created major problems for me. Ignoring self did not mean my needs, wants and feelings just went away. I acted in ways to assert myself in often very manipulative and passive aggressive ways-mostly in a very unconscious unaware way I was doing this.
- I would start an argument over something petty or not really an issue to be able to have a fight to resolve my feelings and emotions inside a relationship/friendship about something else.
- I would manipulate a situation to create a fight or push the person to do what I wanted/needed without having to assert myself.
- I would lie about how I really felt, what I wanted, and needed.
- I felt guilty for having wants, needs and feelings, so rarely asserted myself or make excuses as to why I couldn’t assert myself.
- I would lash out in anger out of resentment for feeling unheard or acknowledged.
I also held an inner belief that I was not lovable and not worthy of love. At the core I hated myself. Unconsciously, I felt I had to prove my value and worthiness of love -since I didn’t see my own value. I would morph myself into or do what other people seemed to want or seemed to approve of or accept. I lived and died by others’ opinion or approval of me.
- I would lie about liking a band, movie, book, TV show, having an experience or some other thing to create a false sense of connection with others to gain acceptance and love. **This was one of the most uncomfortable things to admit and acknowledge but huge for my growth.
- I would over-give and over extend myself. I had to prove my usefulness to others for them to love me. Being me wasn’t enough. **I still struggle with this and have to check in with myself a lot to not slip into this.
- I had poor boundaries and did not respect other people’s boundaries. If someone said no, I’d keep asking or push them to give into what I wanted. I had a really hard time saying no or explaining my reasoning for saying no as well or that I didn’t have to explain myself at all.
- I could not just listen to friends vent or allow them to speak about their troubles. I had to give the best advice and “fix” their problem. I often would get very invested and attached to solving other people’s problems. I would even get upset if they did not take my advice or let me fix the problem for them.
- I would resist making decisions or taking control of my life out of fear of being rejected or not accepted by others for my choices.
- I apologized constantly-almost for my very existence. I put myself down and dismissed myself a lot. Self-effacing humor was my go to in cultivating friendships.
- I engaged in things in an addictive way- whether it be substances, working out, shopping, actual work, new habits, relationships, and lifestyles to detach from my feelings of being unlovable and/or prove how lovable I was. Nobody could possibly want to be around sober me or find me “enough.”
I held a very deep fear of abandonment and constantly sought out love in literally everything, but within myself. I would do anything to prevent abandonment-even self sabotaging good relationships/friendships.
- I tolerated poor treatment and being taken advantage of. I stayed in relationships and friendships that were abusive and depleting. I was a total doormat.
- I pushed people away and sabotaged positive change.
- I would be passive aggressive instead of saying “no,” or hint at things I wanted or needing-expecting people to read between the lines.
- I didn’t trust people and always suspected a false or ulterior motive.
- I would choose relationships and friendships that were “projects,” where I was going to fix this person and make them “better.” If I was in some way superior, they would never abandon me.
- Any change would set off my fear of abandonment and I would try to control others/situations to not allow the change or convince someone change was not needed even if it was.
At the end of 2017, I hit my rock bottom. I was severely depressed and suicidal. I was divorced and had one failed relationship after the other. I depended on alcohol or other substances to socialize or relax. I could barely function or care for my child. My work was slipping. I was teetering on financial ruin. My anxiety was so bad I could not eat. I could not sleep. I threw up almost every day. I was loosing weight rapidly. I did not know where I ended and other people began.
I remember one instance where I made a mistake at my job. I worked myself into a panic attack one night over the possibility of getting fired (not even a real chance of that happening) and it took me days to stop shaking and calm down. Overall, my world seemed to be crumbling around me. I knew something had to change.
The First Step Forward
I started therapy. This was not my first trip to see a therapist. As a young adult I sought therapy for anxiety/depression multiple times. I usually would go long enough to start to see positive change in my life and then would stop treatment.
At first I was going to therapy every week and was referred to a psychiatrist that I was seeing once a month. I was able to get medication that helped ease my symptoms and my doctor exposed me to holistic methods that helped me as well. Eventually, in addition to this, my therapist referred me to a therapy group for children of narcissistic families I attended for a year.
The therapy group was a huge part of my growth. I saw a mirror image of myself reflected back at me every week. I heard the same narrative I knew so well repeated back to me over and over again. The self doubt. The self limiting beliefs. The self hatred. The fear of abandonment. The role I played in the whole dynamic. I understood on a very deep level what I was missing in my life. The actions that were needed seemed so clear viewing “myself” outside of “myself” in that way. I needed to learn to love and embrace myself-all and all.
“All You Need Is Love”
At the beginning of 2018, I read Codependent No More. How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring For Yourself by Melody Beattie. It brought about earth shattering realization, major change and shifts in my life. Finishing the book was my ultimate “Ah-ha” moment. It was a pivotal point in my awakening. I realized what was “wrong” and why things had gone the way they have in my life. I realized I had the power to make change.
I began devouring other self help books. I remember reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and A New Earth and feeling that I had unlocked a significant clue to my anxiety/depression issues. I constantly lived in my head. The idea of not thinking, being mindful, and being in the present was a totally foreign concept for me. I remember often in social situations, I couldn’t make eye contact or even speak, paralyzed by the idea I would say something “wrong.”
I cared way too much about everything, everyone, and what others thought of me. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson helped me see that the less I cared-the happier and less burdened I felt. Constantly comparing myself to others was leading to my own dissatisfaction. Also when you truly love yourself and have confidence the level of fucks you give dwindles significantly.
I also started listening to Alan Watts lectures. I read his books along with Deepak Chopra. Rick Hanson’s The Enlightened Brain-The Neuroscience of Awakening was an extremely helpful audiobook filled with guided meditations on healing past trauma.
I went through a period of isolation and only spent time around people I could be totally vulnerable with. I had a lot of friends I partied with then, but few genuine close friendships. I took a break from substances that could alter my state of being, which included alcohol and even caffeine- my friendships shifted significantly. I went through a period of loneliness as I shifted and made new connections. I would be lying if I said it was easy. Idle time was always torture for me.
I spent a lot of time sitting in uncomfortable emotions instead of trying to escape them. At first it was really hard, but I had to learn to sit in my emotions and acknowledge them. I had never done this before. I had always reached for something or someone to take the pain away. It was a lot easier to distract myself than sitting in discomfort.
I started to meditate every day and also started going to a group meditation once a week. I worked out more and started taking better care of myself. I was more mindful of what I put into my body-whether that be food or surroundings.
I stopped saying “yes” when I meant “no.” I quit taking on too much work. I started to realize I had no control over anyone but myself. If I felt mistreated or felt victimized, I started to realize the power I had in the situation. I was choosing to be a victim. The idea I was powerless was a lie. I had no obligation to engage with someone or something that was hurtful- including toxic family.
Over time, my perspective shifted. I learned to appreciate myself. I learned to love myself. I learned to pay attention to what I wanted and needed regardless of anyone else. I realized it was okay if people did not accept me or love me. I cut off toxic relationships and toxic people in my life. I set boundaries. The love I had for myself was the only love that really mattered and when you truly love yourself-people love and respect you too.
Instead of looking at myself with harsh judgment and criticism- I learned my story gave me a sense of compassion and understanding of others. To accept what is and not clinging to how I want things to be-acknowledging my feelings around it and how expectation and failure to accept what is created disappointment. Learning the power of non-attachment. Learning that every moment I have another opportunity to do better.
I am far from perfect. I catch myself slipping on my self care and engaging in some of the example behaviors typical of Codependency. Dating is a tricky balance of respecting my needs/wants and someone else’s. Finding the courage to say no sometimes is a littler harder than I want to admit. Being brutally honest and self aware is where I find the power to keep improving and letting go of what isn’t good for me. Healing is not linear. Also, not judging myself too harshly when I don’t make a choice towards my growth and what that has taught me in the process.
I am no mental health professional, just someone who has done a lot of healing and growth. What has helped me, may not be helpful for others. What resonates for me, may not hold any merit for someone else. Self improvement is not a one size fits all process. Just a continuous commitment to betterment.
On June 3, 2019 we will enter a new moon phase in the zodiac sign of Gemini. Like all new moons, this is a season for planting seeds. This is a time to start anew. This is a time to give it a spin. Its time to get up and go.
The energy surrounding this new moon is flipping a switch. There’s a buzz in the air. There’s a sense of impending movement. The final bounce on the diving board.
June 2019 is a numerological 9 month. In Numerology, 9 represents a wrap up. Its that point when you have a birds eye of a subject and it’s various nuances. The point of understanding where you don’t get pigeonholed into one facet of something, but appreciate everything about it as a whole. It’s a place of mastery. Its right before a final completion or a test.
As a collective, we have moved into an energy of action. We get it now. Let’s do it and do it right. With this moon being in Gemini, and Mercury in Gemini still, there’s a sense of doing and also communicating.
Gemini is a mutable air sign ruled by Mercury. She loves to communicate and she loves to explore the deeper and higher notes. He is very outgoing and a great conversationalist. He can be a little hard to pin down, however. He tends to be more focused on “airy” logic and not so much emotion. Geminis are often called two faced or having two minds or two sides to them. They really just have a lot of thoughts and it’s hard for them to focus on something once it bores them and can vacillate. They like excitement. They like change. Unevolved, Gemini can be prone to gossip and flippancy. She represents the duality in us all and how to play with the dark and light energy. She also represents the battle of intellect and how we truly feel.
Mercury is still in Gemini until the middle of the week when she moves into Cancer. This may be a week for a big conversation or communication on an idea or whatever new new you have in your head. I decided to start some kind of internet publication during last years Gemini new moon!
Overall, there’s a lot of ideas buzzing around. Some great, some not. Gemini rules mass communications so pay attention to what’s being reported and circulated. Check the finer details. This energy can also make us prone to discussing small minded things and maybe repeat something we know is false when we hear it just for conversation’s sake. With the energy of propulsion in the air, an ill advised verbal blowout may surface.
A little softness for all this air and wordiness, Venus, is in one of her home signs, Taurus, bringing in some grounding earth energy. This energy will pull you towards something stable and safe. What feels like home? What fills your heart? However, Venus can be kind of Taurus’ devil on the bull’s shoulder. We need something down to earth this season, but it may come in the way of comforts too. You may feel extra hungry. You may feel like indulging in all that feels good. You may feel like making your environment pretty. You may want to make a purchase that is a physical representation of your growth and abundance. The dance will be in how much of the impulsive air energy will you let overpower what is bringing you back down to earth?
Among other planets, Jupiter is in retrograde still and it will have a calming energy to all this, bringing in a master’s approach and worldly understanding of where you are and where you have been. Jupiter will help us see the forest from the trees. It will help slow down that restless Gemini energy.
This new moon is a good time to set plans in motion for what you want to accomplish this summer or the rest of the year. Time to dream and take the physical steps.