The High Holidays and Mercury retrograde — reflect, recommit, and renew

What an absolutely perfect season to reflect, recommit, and renew.

To everything, turn, turn, turn. There is a time to every purpose under heaven.

Some New Year seasons inspire resolutions. This New Year season, the Days of Awe, invites you to have an internal process. You are asked to reflect, recommit, and renew.

This is the first year that I’ve dived into the Days of Awe (being dragged to synagogue by my conservative grandparents doesn’t count). In fact, it’s the first year in my life when Jewish ritual and spirituality has had deep meaning for me.

One of the 613 blessings (613 is the number of seeds in a pomegranate, they say) that came my way in this last year is finding community and a spiritual home at a Jewish renewal synagogue. This exploration and experience is adding so much to my varied, multi-culti, woman-centric rich weaving of spiritual practices that have come together in my life and work since I started looking in the ’70s. I feel wrapped in the sacred in a deeper way than ever before.

Reflect, recommit, and renew

I wrote a bit last week about how Mercury retrograde (9/17–10/9) wraps itself around much of this high holiday season.

[Here’s the link to that article. And if you’re ready to really align your passion and purpose with your brand and your website, please use this link to book a call with me; I’m finishing up two Unmask Your Brand and Shine Your Light websites right now, and am ready to dive in with you!]

Yes, sometimes a Mercury retrograde (Rx) can be scary. Computers may crash, communication may go haywire (misunderstood much?). But I find a deeper invitation in each Merc Rx. The invitation to do all those “re-” things. Re-think. Review. Revise. Reflect. Recommit. Renew.

What a lovely combination this season. And then my friend Shulamit turned me on to 10Q — an online conversation around ten questions for the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The questions spark reflection. I invite you to read through these and answer the one that calls to you most strongly in the comments below.

  • What’s a significant experience that has affected you over the past year?
  • What is something you would have done differently over the past year?
  • What is a major milestone that affected your family in the past year?
  • What global event most affected you last year, and why?
  • Have you had any experiences this past year that changed the way you thought about spirituality?
  • What’s one specific thing that you would like to accomplish by this time next year?
  • Is there a part of yourself (physical, emotional, intellectual) that you want to work on in the coming year?
  • Is there a specific person, cause, or idea that you want to learn more about in the coming year?
  • Is there a fear that has limited you in the past year? Do you think you could overcome it next year?

I’m going to answer the second question right here, as a way of explaining to you just how scattered I notice I am today, and have been for the past six days.

I’m sure my scattered state is apparent in my writing in this post. I count at least three themes going here. Lucky for me I know you love me anyway, and that you forgive me for the words that don’t make sense, and the words that didn’t quite get to the page.

So: What is something you would have done differently over the past year?

I would have reacted to the rat trauma differently, with more ease and some sovereignty. A rat moved into my house last Thursday and didn’t leave until today. That’s six days, yo. Six days in which I felt fear, and panic, and stress, and not-at-home-in-my-new-home. Six days during which I ate less, slept even less than that. Six days during which I was either gnawed on or dreamt I was gnawed on in my sleep and woke up sobbing. Six days during which I could not enter my kitchen with ease.

I wanted to transcend this. I wanted to find a way to claim sovereignty and ground in ease even though I was living with a rodent. I couldn’t do it. And I know my lack of ease was compounded by having just moved. I was in this house for all of two weeks when the rat moved in. Oy.

So. The rat is now gone (may it have been the only one!). I am beginning to feel my heart resume its normal rhythm, I am beginning to relax my hyper-vigilance.

I still don’t understand my extreme reaction, nor did I come close to beginning to solve it. I’m just grateful that it’s gone because the prospect of working on whatever old trauma triggered my reactions is much more appealing absent a rat in the house than it ever could have been when it was still here.

Thank you for your love, your patience, your compassion, your forgiveness, and for reading my words. Blessed be.

Posted on September 16th, 2015. Posted in these categories: days of awe, high holidays, renew, resolutions. 16 Comments

Stop! Wait! Before you start visioning and writing goals, do the completion and release work first

This post was originally published in December of 2012. It’s been completely updated and brought up-to-date.

This is the time of year when your thoughts start to turn to your visions, goals, and intentions for the year ahead

It’s December, a natural time to start thinking about plans, and set intentions, to get clear about your visions for the coming year. You may even be thinking about those things right now.

2014 Year-End Completion and Release WorkbookBut before you start writing those goals for the coming year…Stop and breathe. There’s work to do first!

Honor yourself in the most sacred way and allow for closure for all the beautiful actions you took in 2014. Take the time to look back, and acknowledge your magnificent accomplishments of this past year. Give yourself the gift of completing and releasing the year that’s coming to an end before you begin looking ahead — when you do, you’ll be creating a firmer loving foundation for your intentions and visions.

Introducing the Magnolias West 2014 Completion and Release Workbook.

Here’s how to create a strong, workable, sustainable foundation for your vision, goals and intentions for an amazing 2014! In this workbook you can make note of what challenged you, and what may still be incomplete. Celebrate yourself for all the new, audacious, brave, risky things you’ve taken on, tried, and manifested. The actions that worked out as planned (or better!) and the ones that didn’t. Everything that was wonderful, everything that was challenging, and everything in between. When you get to gratitude for all of it, you are lovingly cutting the ties to what may hold you back from your magnificence in the New Year.

Read what a client, Christine Scudder, has to say about the Completion & Release Workbook

CSheadshot“When I started the workbook, I was feeling pretty down on my year that was ending, but in the process of reviewing the questions, I found that I actually took more risks — and some significant ones at that — in the past year, and that each risk, each action, was deserving of my mindful attention and gratitude. I found the overall “taking stock” to be helpful. The language was at once direct and empowering, serving as an invitation to reflect upon this year in a way that was forthright, yet kind to myself. This is new for me — previously I’ve found “year in review” type activities to bring out a serious amount of harsh, critical self-judgment. I left this activity with a sense of clear renewal.” —Christine Scudder, MSW.

Even when your efforts fail, gorgeous, as long as you’re trying, you’re making progress.

They call it failing forward. I promise you, taking the time to do this completion work will remove the weeds and undergrowth from your path, so that your new start  —the goals, visions, blessings, and miracles you will bring to 2015 — will germinate, root, and flower beautifully for you.

How to buy the 2014 Year-End Completion and Release Workbook

It’s easy! All the information you need is right here.

Pricing, purchase links, more information, more testimonials, the whole megillah (yup, that’s Yiddish again — means the whole story). Check it out. Put yourself high on your gift list.
But wait, there’s more!

Posted on December 7th, 2014. Posted in these categories: completion, goals, intentions, release, resolutions. 16 Comments

How to align your resolutions with your heart, so you get the results you crave…

Happy new year, gorgeous.

If you’ve been a reader or subscriber for a while, you may remember my annual rant about resolutions. They start off so powerfully, don’t they?, in the Capricorn energy of the New Year (more about that below, in the section about the upcoming New Moon, the time when we are naturally drawn to our vision work, to our goals and intentions. Have you noticed how resolutions—commitments to wellness, more money, deeper love, more satisfying work—start off strong and evaporate over time? Is your gym more crowded this month than last? Check again in March and you will probably see that the attendance has returned to normal levels.

What happens to your beautiful resolutions, your powerful visions?

Say you had a powerful vision over the holidays, something you really want (I hope you did!). Maybe it’s a new deep loving long-term relationship. Or maybe it’s developing and launching a new product line for your business that will be of service to your tribe. Or maybe it’s having more financial abundance.

We’ll use increased financial abundance as an example. You had this beautiful vision over the holidays, and you know what you have to do to get there (some combination of raising your rates, growing your practice, or developing some new products to sell). And you get started. Just as in the past, you start taking actions toward that goal, but soon your actions begin to lessen, to the point where you eventually forget the vision altogether. What’s your relationship with the resolution?

peleheartFeel into your heart.

  • Do you have abundance in your heart, in your soul, right now?
  • Do you know you are taken care of, that your needs are met, that you have access to nourishing food, friends, and love?
  • Do you know in your heart that you are sheltered and clothed safely and beautifully?

When you believe that abundance is only available to you in the future—once you’ve attained your goal or manifested your vision—then an unresolvable dilemma arises, and your relationship to the resolution weakens. It gets to be too painful to hold onto, and eventually becomes forgotten.

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on January 9th, 2013. Posted in these categories: astrology, goals, intentions, New Moon, resolutions. 17 Comments

gratituesday 12/14

The year-end inventory.

Instead of making resolutions, why not do something more that’s more effective?

New Year’s resolutions are a pervasive cultural habit. And useless. Think about it. How many times have you made that list of resolutions:

lose ten pounds
join a gym
get a better job
invite your family over for dinner
get married
have a child
eliminate debt
and on, and on, and on…

Then, few weeks into January you find yourself disappointed that you’re not following through. If in fact you even remember your late-December resolve. There’s a really interesting article by Jonah Lehrer that appeared in the Wall Street Journal last year that speaks to the science of why 88% of all resolutions end in failure.

The year-end inventory; a more useful exercise

My theory is that the resolutions habit evolved out of the practice of year-end inventory: taking time at the end of the year to reflect, review, reassess. Businesses balance their year-end books; so can we as individuals and entrepreneurs. Getting clear about where we’ve been allows us to then set concrete goals and an action plan for the coming year.

But wait, there’s more!

Posted on December 14th, 2010. Posted in these categories: awareness, coaching, resolutions. 7 Comments