05/11/16 8:00am

How Do You Play in May?

Faerie Play CatsHow Do You Play in May?
by BlackLion

Spring is a time for renewal, revitalization and powerful energies reemerging from the winter’s slumber. How do you play with spring – in your beautiful garden, immersing yourself in the warm sunshine, or simply watching the flowers all bloomin’?

May is a great time to celebrate all the birth, growth, and change that is happening, with the world transforming its colors from brown to green, and red, and yellow, and …! Tap into life’s raw transformative energy and you’ll have a mighty powerful ally to change your life. When you play, you are asking the universe to play with you.

Which feels better to you, laughing off a potential slight, or getting stuck in an exhaustive argument? When your ego gets in the way of your spiritual power, it becomes a trickster trying to divert this power into the same old patterns rather than the magickal abilities of playfulness and joy. The best time to stop this energy is to nip it in the bud, and start playing.

With the power of play, you’ll receive inspired actions and serendipities, you’ll become a ready, willing, and able avatar of your spirit’s loving and transformational essence. You are always doing what is best for you, because what you are receiving and transmitting every moment is an indicator of your self-awareness. If you are feeling out of sorts or feeling dull-face, then why not inject your now with some playful aliveness, like dancing or singing? How can you make your next appointment a game, like to see how many times the CEO says “integrate” during the company pep-rally?

Whichever ways you define play in your life, go for it! That is the point of it all. Take life by the horns, dive deeply into your spiritually-drenched self. Add more mindfulness, prayer, meditation, or other present-tense thinking to keep your ego in check and your spirit soaring!

Take your kids and go to the playground. Swings are the thing, or slide your way back into fun. It’s not rocket science. Feeling good brings its own rewards, like yielding better returns. With this intention of being all-in and going for what your heart is calling you toward, you’ll find things working out for you more easily because you are more at ease to notice them, not stuck up in your ego-brain.

Playful warriors, quixotic healers, gypsy yoginis, and other transformational types tend to flock together to gain momentum and build tribes of like-minded enthusiasts of play and joy. If you are feeling like you’re ready to take on the eternal yet rewarding challenge of actually loving the life you live, then start your play practice every chance you get. Play is your conduit to the good life, because you bring the fun with you, already in your heart!

Take the opportunity to let go this spring and let in your high spirits. Engage in mind, body and spirit building moments like dancing, centering, and laughing. Seek the next deeper, more thrilling, more open understanding of who you are, what you really want to offer the world, and then go for it! You are beloved no matter what, so accept this intentional focus on play and become who you want to be. Release old paradigms that may have been keeping you stuck in the muck. All you have to do is play and have fun, OMG – YES!

04/26/16 4:12pm

Harnessing Natural Cycles to Gain Momentum

Afternoon EvergreensHarnessing Natural Cycles to Gain Momentum
by Starcat

There you are, hard at work on a big project. It could be something you’re making, like building a raised bed garden, knitting a sweater, or writing a book draft, or maybe you’re working on an important report for work, or you’re spring cleaning and decluttering your home. Things are moving along well, but then all of a sudden you lose steam. All of your momentum seems to collapse, and there’s nothing you want to do less. What happened?

Or maybe you’ve noticed that you tend to have less energy sometimes for the same amount of daily tasks. Your sleep patterns haven’t changed, you aren’t feeling ill, there are no big crises going on in your life, but you just can’t seem to get out of your own way. What gives?

Although we modern human beings put a lot of effort into hiding it, we’re mammals. We’re creatures of the Earth, responsive to the rhythms and cycles of the natural world. Becoming aware of these cycles and how they affect us can help us be more productive and consistent, and also happier.

The cycles of the seasons are perhaps the most obvious ones. Right now, in the northern hemisphere, we’re in the throes of Spring. The days are still lengthening, and the sun’s rays are stronger. Plants are growing; the world gets greener and more lush. This Spring energy is perfect for gaining momentum on your projects. The longer, warmer days will urge your body to want to move more, and taking action will feel natural. You’re drawn to plant and nurture the seeds of your dreams. The tricky part of Spring is when your enthusiasm runs amok, and you might tend to take on more than you can handle.

When Spring transitions into Summer, the energies begin to shift. Summer’s energies let us coast along a bit. Our garden, actual or metaphorical, is in a growth phase, and we’re there to tend and encourage our plants and plans. In temperate climates, you’ll want to be outdoors playing as much as you can while the weather is nice. If you live somewhere more tropical, it might be too hot to be as active, and you’ll want to stay cool and lie low. Either way, the “lazy days” of Summer can tempt you away from the priorities you’ve set. Remember to tend to your projects, allowing the delicious fun of summer activities to renew you, then letting that energy flow back into your goals and intentions.

When Autumn arrives, you’ll be in full-on harvest mode. Your plans and projects will have borne fruit, or if not, you’ll have some clear information about what went wrong. In Autumn our tendency is to plan and organize, and prepare for the next round of action. Think about that “back to school” vibe that many of us still have, even years after we have graduated and moved on. Creativity is at a peak, and you’ll have lots of great ideas and inspirations. Avoid the temptation to hoard your harvest or pull inward too soon. Enjoy the feeling of harvesting what you’ve planted and tended, and let your ideas for the next phase flow freely.

When Winter comes, you’ll feel the natural ebb of your momentum. As the plants begin to go to sleep, and the earth’s critters are in hibernation or migration mode, you’ll enter a more contemplative phase of the year. The days are shorter, and the early arrival of night makes you want to get cozy in your own nest. Winter is a wonderful time to dream and vision, looking ahead to see what new projects or intentions you want to bring into your life when Spring begins. Avoid taking on too much in the Winter, especially around the holidays in late December. When your body longs for extra rest, getting run down can weaken your immune system and make you vulnerable to illness.

Granted, we live in a society that is often full-on, no matter the time of year. Your work schedule might run counter to the seasons, with perhaps your busiest time during the retail madness of Winter, or a lull in Spring, when you wish you could be up and running. There are other cycles that you can be mindful of as you honor your natural ebbs and flows.

Monthly cycles will be familiar to most women. The cycles of the moon have their own energy rhythm, which may or may not line up with your menstrual cycles. Anyone can tap into these lunar cycles and use their energies to help manage momentum for big projects. When the moon is new, it’s a good time to brainstorm about or begin a new project (or phase of a project). As the moon waxes, the lunar energy increases, and you might feel more motivated and focused. The full moon energy works well with completion, although some people find it too chaotic and hard to focus during that time. If that’s true for you, take the full moon off to regroup and recharge. When the moon is waning, it’s a good time for rest and evaluation. The dark of the moon can be used to take a break and get some extra sleep. You can find the times for the moon phases online, or purchase a lovely calendar of moon phases to hang on your wall.

The days have their own, much shorter, cycles that you can use to your advantage. Are you a morning lark or a night owl? When do you feel most energetic and creative? As much as possible, schedule your daily activities according to your natural rhythms. Make sure that you’re doing your most important work when you’re at your best.

Even when you’re not able to fully switch your schedule around to accommodate the season or phase of the moon, being aware of the cycles will help. Knowing that your energy hits a lull during the waning moon means you can plan to go to bed a little earlier, for example. Working with your own rhythms allows you to be at your best, and to honor the ebbs and flows rather than pushing yourself too much. By working with, rather than resisting, the natural cycles, you’ll be able to get more done on your projects and enjoy yourself in the process.

03/29/16 4:00pm

Connecting to your Spirit Is the Fast Lane to Happiness

pexels-photo-45771Connecting to your Spirit Is the Fast Lane to Happiness
by BlackLion

Imagine you are driving along your own superhighway; let’s call it Life. You wake up in the morning, going along at a good pace, when some thought pops up into your experience that doesn’t feel very good. You honk your horn at the thought that just cut you off, causing you to swerve or slow down or even careen into the breakdown lane.

Now imagine the next thought comes along and it feels a little better, but that pesky thought you had before is still going too damn slow in front of you, moving into the passing lane as you try to go by. Now there are two thoughts causing you grief, one that just showed up and another then another keeps coming onto your highway. Most people get stuck in a traffic jam of thoughts, usually first thing in the morning, and end up getting stuck or barely moving forward in their life.

Now imagine waking up and intentionally focusing on a better feeling thought, one you’ve added to your daily spiritual practice. Perhaps you do a meditation or some yoga to get your body, mind and spirit connected. As you are cruising along in the fast lane of your life, you’ll still have those pesky thoughts. They may even try to careen into your lane.

Yet since you are already feeling in a good place, you anticipate that thought’s desire to have your full attention. Instead of ignoring it or honking in irritation, you instead acknowledge it from this place of clarity and then leave it in the dust. The better aligned you are with your spirit, the better you will be able to anticipate how to deal with your thoughts and circumstances.

As you connect more and more to what you want to experience, you’ll be better able to understand that you are driving your own Life. Sure, there will be potholes, detours and construction along your journey, but letting these inconveniences become roadblocks to your own happiness will not get you anywhere.

By deliberately choosing to stay connected to Source, you’ll discover that all these bumps in the road are really the flavor of Life that you are bringing into your experience. As you feel better and better, the crazy drivers will find other lanes to drive in, the curves and detours in the road will be your adventures, and your trusty co-pilot, Spirit, will keep you aimed true to your wildest dreams