I am deeply grateful for the clients and friends who have been reaching out to me during this challenging time. They ask me if I have any insight or spiritual perspective to share with them. They seek guidance and comfort as they face unexpected and massive disruptions in their daily life, business, security, family and relationships, and concerns for their loved ones’ health. I am like them. I am like you. We instinctively know that fear, anxiety and negativity need to be counterbalanced with faith, perspective and hope. We know that we need spiritual wisdom and real practices in this moment to maintain a mind-set that will prevent us from spiraling into despair.
In service of the higher good in us all, here is an offering of cosmic wisdom for staying balanced and on the side of positivity in this uncertain, changing time.
1) Time is an extremely precious gift. Make the most of this moment.
With schools closed, businesses closed or closing, and social distancing to avoid public places and communal gatherings, we find ourselves having more time to ourselves and at home. Might you embrace the possibility that this is a silver-lining blessing right now? How many times have you complained about having too many responsibilities, to-do’s, and obligations, and too little time for yourself and the things you enjoy? (especially my Capricorn and 10th house signature workaholic and high-achieving friends.) Can you see this extra time as an opportunity to shift into a healthier life-work balance?
What might you do with some of the extra hours you have now? You may want to consider limiting the amount of time you allow yourself to consume fear-inducing news and commit yourself instead to giving time to things that expand your sense of joy and positivity. Exercise, take a walk in nature, meditate, call and connect with your loved ones and friends, read a book, learn something new, play a game with your kids, explore new or old music you love, listen to a podcast, watch a TV or Netflix show or movie, do projects around the house and garden, try a new recipe, dance, laugh. The choice of how you fill your time is yours.
2) Gratitude, prayer, and spiritual practices are powerful.
How do you connect with whatever you understand to be Source, God, the Universe, Reality, Soul, or Higher Consciousness? If you are someone who already has a daily spiritual practice, now is the time you may really feel that practice paying off for you in a profound way. If you haven’t had a committed daily spiritual practice, the present moment is always a perfect time to begin.
Spiritual practice is highly individual. There is no right or wrong. What helps you connect with life and your own soul and sense of meaning? What helps you lay down some of the stress you are carrying and restore a sense of peace and calm? What helps you expand your sense of faithfulness and trust. Faith is a known antidote to counterbalance and banish fear.
Maybe there are prayers from your religious tradition or another that inspire you and bring you a sense of strength and resilience. Maybe your practice is to tune into the hopes and prayers that arise from your own heart and in your own words? Setting aside a few minutes each day to pray, meditate and come into your heart and soul can really support you to find spiritual and emotional balance right now.
I also strongly encourage you to adopt a daily gratitude practice. This might look like writing in a journal or creating a family ritual of speaking aloud what you are grateful for in this moment, on this day. Expressing gratitude (ha’karat ha’tov – calling out the good, in the Jewish tradition) is one of the simplest and most powerful practices I know to stay positive and happy. I keep a gratitude journal on the nightstand next to my bed. Every night, the last thing I do before going to sleep is to write down any and all things, big or small, serious or silly, that brought me joy that day.
“I am grateful for seeing the sunrise and hearing the birds chirp. I am grateful for the taste and smell of coffee. I am grateful for connecting with each of my children today, and for their love, health and safety. I am grateful that I took a walk and felt sunshine on my face. I am grateful for a safe home, food and clean drinking water. I am grateful for loving relationships in my life. I’m grateful for a comfortable bed to sleep in.”
Beginning and/or ending the day with gratitude practice is a way to intentionally remind yourself of all that is still good in your life and that you are not taking those things for granted.
3) Uninvited change is hard but it challenges us to grow and transform.
What is happening is happening, and the world and our lives are rapidly changing because of it. We would not have invited or chosen this, and yet, it is the new emerging reality that we are learning to live in. How might we choose to respond to these changes in a way that evokes our best and highest selves as individuals, communities, and humanity?
Astrologically, Pluto represents the energy of personal and collective transformation and evolution that inevitably comes about through painful and traumatic experiences of loss, death, power or powerlessness, and fear. It is how we experience the “dark night of the soul” to re-emerge on the other side of crisis resurrected anew, stronger, wiser and more resilient. Jupiter is the planet associated with exponential growth and abundance on a massive, global scale in order to deepen our beliefs, spirituality and sense of life’s meaning. The fact that these two planets are hanging out together (conjunct) in the Universe right now as this havoc is being wreaked is an interesting thing for an astrologer to observe.
As an astrologer and life coach, I am committed to a growth and transformational mindset. One way I try to make sense of life’s hardest challenges is to ask what I might learn and how I might grow from this experience. Here are some reflection questions that I’ve begun to ask myself which may be helpful for you in considering how you might grow and transform from this challenging time:
How is this hardship helping me to better understand myself and others (wants, needs, values, purpose)?
What skills and resourcefulness do I have that I can call upon as I care for myself and my loved ones at this time?
What limiting beliefs about myself and life am I willing to let go of and move beyond, in light of this new reality?
How can I innovate myself, my work, my relationships and create new opportunities for connection and success, now and in the future?
Are my actions aligned with my truest values? If not, what do I need to do going forward?
How is the current crisis helping me to reassess my priorities and purpose?
Who are the people and what are the resources I can rely on to support and guide me through this time?
Who do I want to become as I am transformed by this experience?
4) Love is always the answer.
As a yoga, meditation and spiritual teacher, I never want anyone to suffer and only seek to help alleviate my students’ suffering. The best way I know to alleviate suffering is to love.
One practice I teach is the practice of “allowing with loving awareness,” inspired by many of my teachers including Ram Dass, Thich Nhat Hanh, Krishna Das, Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. “Allowing” means that you don’t deny or push away the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations that arise and are real to you in this moment. You allow them to be (however painful or scary they are). You invite your whole experience, as it is. You sit and listen with compassion for yourself and others, with open-hearted presence. You practice allowing and receiving all that is with loving awareness – being loving and being aware.
In times of challenge, it can be easy to fall into destructive, ego-centric patterns brought on by fear and uncertainty. At times like this, we need to find the courage within ourselves to consciously choose to be more loving, compassionate and understanding, and to be less judgmental and critical with ourselves and others. Staying heart-centered and loving is always the answer of how we can bring our best self and highest good to face any challenge.