Libra season is all about harmony, balance and beauty. Stunning beauty surrounds us every day but many of us are focused on lack or scarcity - or what we don't have, that we take this beauty for granted.
Taking the time to notice our blessings and express gratitude for them increases feelings of appreciation and gratitude, which instantly raise our vibration and makes us a magnet for attracting more of these experiences into our lives.
Tomorrow marks the Fall Equinox and signifies one of two days out of the year (the other being the Spring or 'Vernal' Equinox) when day and night are almost exactly equal lengths and the entire planet is most in balance.
Taking our queue from Nature's rhythms, this week is the optimal time to examine balance in our lives.
Since Hurricane Dorian passed on Wednesday, there's been a flurry of activity here in South Florida. It's astonishing how quickly local agencies, businesses, charities and citizens have organized to get aid to our neighbors in the Bahamas.
Virgo is service-oriented sign and so I thought it fitting that we go with the flow of the Universe and discuss volunteering this week.
So often there's a misconception of self-care - many interpret it to mean "treat yo self," when really the goal of self-care is to create a life you don't regularly need to escape from.
According to Positive Psychology,there are three kinds of happiness:
1) Pleasure and gratification
2) Embodiment of strengths and virtues
3) Meaning and purpose
With Category 5 Hurricane Dorian looming in the Atlantic with sustained winds of 185 MPH, I am flooded with thoughts and feelings. I live in Jupiter - a smallish beach town on the Southeastern coast of Florida. Growing up here, we've been through many hurricanes and have our plan and supplies firmly in place. In 2004, four storms hit us (Charley, Frances, Jeanne & Wilma) within six weeks and any Floridian who went through that most likely has hurricane preparation down to a science.
We do what we can - put up shutters, make sure we have food, gas, water and batteries, ensure the generator works, procure medications (my husband is a Type 1 diabetic and needs insulin to survive), gather all important paperwork and pray. But the rest is really out of our hands. It's a very interesting exercise in control and surrender.
I didn't know what I was going to write about today as this week was extra hectic with increased work load, a corroded pipe that led to an unscheduled kitchen demo, a sick kid & storm prep. But then I realized that this balance between control and surrender is such a strong metaphor for life and an important component of self-care that I couldn't write about anything else.
How many of us feel like we've been swimming in quicksand? We've been making moves, but those moves seem to get us nowhere fast. We've made plans and laid foundations but the payoff is slow or nonexistent. This feeling of being stuck is one of the most confusing to deal with and difficult to shake because nothing is necessarily wrong per se; life just seems to monotonously replay itself day after day like Groundhog Day.
How can we break up this tired pattern and breathe some fresh air into our lives? By creating space for new energy.
Energy stagnates and accumulates in heavy, familiar places which is why repeating old patterns and stories is our go-to default programming.
So what are some tangible ways to get unstuck?
Studies have proven that human connection can exponentially increase happiness and contentment. In these fast times, technology can act as a double-edged sword; one one hand, someone is always a scroll or a click away, on the other - our screens can easily act as a barrier to interaction with other human beings we are sharing space with.
When I was studying Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, one of our weekly assignments was to strike up a conversation with someone we normally wouldn't - someone sitting close to us on the train or the bus, a clerk, server or cashier etc. I decided to practice this one day while waiting for my oil to be changed and it ended up being on the most positive experiences I've ever had. I had a lovely conversation with an older woman who was also waiting for her car to be serviced. I learned so much about her life and experiences, her grandchildren, the ways she has seen the world change in her lifetime - it was a truly beautiful moment of connection and shared perspectives.
Reconnecting with our creativity can be a really fun and enjoyable form of self-care and August's playful energies provide the perfect backdrop in which to explore the things that light our creative spark.
Think back on your childhood - most likely you moved your body daily at recess, had play dates with friends and created drawings, paintings and crafts in art class. Chances are, you felt a lot more connected to your creative center before deadlines, bills and responsibilities started to overshadow the fun stuff.
This week's focus is all about tapping back into that sense of freedom and flow to help increase your happiness and contentment. Your spirit wants to reconnect with your creativity and passion so you may be surprised by how fast inspiration comes once you give it a chance to roam free.
August's social, vibrant and fiery energy is an invitation to bring our talents and passions to center stage. But what if you don't know what those talents are? What if you're unsure about what you should be doing with your life or where your strengths lie?
Positive Psychology is a branch of Psychology which studies how people can increase happiness, quality of life, well-being and contentment. One of the ways in which to do this is to identify our natural character strengths so that we can more easily cultivate our passion & flow and even minimize our weaknesses.
Positive Psychology identifies 24 character strengths or virtues under six categories ~ transcendence, courage, wisdom, justice, temperance & humanity.
Vacations are awesome right? Stress melts away as deadlines and calls and commutes dissolve. Time slows down, weights are lifted, life's natural rhythms return.
Taking a week off of work every month to go on vacation may not be practical, but you can cultivate that feeling of mental lightness right in your own backyard without booking a ticket or driving hours away.
This week, take some time to create a daily vacation for yourself - something you truly enjoy and look forward to. This time should be different than a morning or nighttime routine, which is more structured and purposeful.
Digital detoxing will look different for everyone - it's not a one size fits all prescription. Many of us rely on our computers and phones for our livelihood so disconnecting completely just isn't feasible. The key is to create realistic boundaries that you feel confident you will be able to stick to.
I love the idea of creating daily digital detox habits because, let's face it - small, consistent steps are a lot more doable than giving up your phone cold turkey for an entire week.