You Decide

There’s been a lot of hype about the impending total solar eclipse.  I’ve never been one to do something just because “everyone else is doing it.” The same with technology. I don’t have to have the latest and greatest, or any at all because “everyone else has one.” To me, that’s a lazy excuse for not making conscious choices and for robbing myself of my individuality. I’ve felt the same about the upcoming solar eclipse.

I haven’t had a desire to view the eclipse, even when friends are traveling for optimal viewing or scrambling for special glasses. I don’t know what your plans are but you may want to take into account the less discussed ill effects of the total solar eclipse, and some protective measures you can take at the time.

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According to Indian rishis, the energy field is so strong when there is an absence of lunar or solar electromagnetic radiation that these ecliptic areas of space become unique fields of electromagnetic radiation and affect man’s duality of consciousness.  Exposing oneself to the vibratory effects of an eclipse is unfavorable.  Be vigilant to avoid being affected by the eclipse’s inauspicious influence and adjust your actions and awareness to accommodate larger universal energies:

  • Being outside amplifies the effects on one’s electrical body.  Instead, stay indoors and chant mantras such as the protective Maha Mritunjaya mantra.
  • Do not cook food, and fast if possible. If any food is sitting around, keep it covered.
  • Three days before and after an eclipse are considered unlucky for important new beginnings such as marriage, starting a business, and other important actions.

Someone who traveled to Ayers Rock in the Outback of central Australia to have a full vision of the sky and developing full solar eclipse said that almost immediately, and for the following year, he experienced enormous loss and difficulties.  He deeply regrets viewing the eclipse and said he would never do it again.

As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I have felt exhausted as the eclipse approaches and  have cancelled many activities in the name of self-care.  My conscience would not rest easy if I did not pass along this less-known information on the approaching eclipse.

However, as a tiny update to this post, since sharing this info with friends has created lively discussion on various interpretations on this eclipse,  I have now personalized my own observance of this significant day.  Moments before the eclipse began, I picked a colorful garden bouquet.  Now, I am staying inside listening to the Maha Mritunjaya mantra and writing my intentions for the coming year.  I will then shower away past emotional baggage during the height of the eclipse.

This is all in the spirit of Take what you like and leave the rest.” I would love to hear how the total solar eclipse affects you and what you decide to do during this time.

 

Luna See

Has your life felt wacky lately?  Mine sure has.  Broken contracts, miscommunication, garbled phone lines, and I could go on.  My yoga teacher usually gives me the lowdown of what planetary influences are around the corner so I can give extra attention to staying centered and not being thrown off balance.

A few weeks ago she leaned across the table and said, “The energy around us is going to feel like a turbulent washing machine.”

“How long?” I asked.

“It started July 24th and will run through September 5th,” she replied.

“Ut-oh.”  She was referring to Mercury Retrograde.  I knew this meant complicated communications, travel and emotions.  For the record, I don’t check daily horoscopes but use astrology loosely as a guide.  When I can prepare or understand what is happening, I can accept it and more easily go with the flow.

If  you are wondering what I am talking about and how it relates to gardening, well, let me say…

If you are not a current believer, think of how the moon rules the tides.  Take a look at  The Old Farmers Almanac  that projects optimal times — for planting and other activities like fishing, pruning, camping, dieting, or even pouring concrete — based upon the moon and astrological signs.   Astrology, has been around for over 2,000 years, the Farmer’s Almanac for 225.  Need I say more?

For me, I schedule haircuts according to moon phases (my hair doesn’t grow as fast when cut during a waning moon).   ONLY after extensive research into optimal astrological dates do I select a surgical date.  Various planets rule various parts of the body.   (I’ve had 2 very serious surgeries with very successful outcomes and no complications.  They were both performed at optimal astrological times for those body parts.)

But, the reason I’m bringing all of this up now is to help you understand why you or those close to you might be feeling edgy lately.  Does time seem like it’s rushing at whitewater speed?  Have emotions been extreme with people in your life? Have communications been misunderstood, or your technology and electronics on the blink?

It has for me.  So, the other night when white moonlight illuminated my bedroom,  I looked up and muttered, “Aha.  No wonder.”  And then relaxation set in.  I now understood why our phone wasn’t working for any apparent reason, WordPress wouldn’t let me upload, a contract fell through, and social plans went awry.  Things are usually topsy turvy during a full moon, and heightened with Mercury Retro in the works.  In just the last few weeks, three long-term couples all announced their divorce and a distant relative commit suicide while 2 others proposed it.

Then I remembered that Mercury Retrograde doesn’t have to be a Big Ouch.  Just enough of an ouch to say, “Okay, so things are going to churn for awhile.  Take a deep breath.  Know this is just the way it is right now.  Stay centered.”

From August 13th-September 5th, notice if you have more than the usual  challenging situations, delays, equipment breakdowns,
 and cranky people.  If so, remember that Mercury Retrograde is passing through then double-check details to lessen frustration from plans gone awry!

Going into the garden usually helps.  A walk in nature is calming.  So, if things are off kilter right now, know that shortly after the eclipse comes and Mercury Retro is over, things will soften and smooth out.

8/7/2017 Full Moon

8/10 Partial Lunar Eclipse

7/24-8/11 PreShadow Mercury Retrograde

8/21 Solar Eclipse

8/12-9/05 Mercury Retrograde

 

 

Who’s There?

When is the last time you were alone in the forest

and heard creaking wood?

What did you think?  Were you no longer alone?

Have you ever looked up to see sun rays

streaming through the clouds?

What did you think?  Did it give you hope?

 

 

She’s So Fine

Driving home this evening with the moon roof open and windows down, I was still savoring a glorious day with an old friend.  Kicking off the afternoon in her favorite gardening center and seeing new varieties of trees and plants made my spirits soar.

I learned that the tree I noticed on my walks this week is a Limelight Hydrangeaabsolutely beautiful!  In the next row I discovered a Firelight Hydrangea sporting  white to pomegranate colored flowers all on the same shrub — delightful!  A Dappled Willow caught my eye then the frost white needles on the Korean Fir...and flowing heart-shaped leaves on the Alley Cat and Ruby Falls Redbuds — heavenly!  Kalmia Latifolia Minuet (Mountain Laurel) surprised me while the Tricolor Beech tree was deceptively interesting.  Manhattan Euonymus and Pulminara Moonshine’s brillance drew me in and I’m already envisioning them gracing my entryway.

Thankfully, the humidity that stole Summer thus far was absent today.  I drove home in laid back contentment, drinking in the beauty of the mountains and luxuriating in the 72 degree breeze kissing my skin while gently tousling my hair.

July 28 lake louise sunset mom and me 008

But, rounding the corner to a glowing sunset on the lake overwhelmed me with gratitude for the ability to see Nature’s exquisiteness.

 

 

Attention Deficit

A few days ago, I was beginning the day with Qigong in a southeasterly room — the veggie/herb garden outside the french doors to the left, a glorious view of summer flowers (albeit wet from the rain) through the window straight ahead.  (Sadly, this summer’s extreme weather has escorted my morning Qigong practice indoors.)  Sweeping my arms up and raising my head, I stopped in disbelief.  How could I have done this? 

My indoor hibiscus plant drooped over, its leaves curled and wilted.   What in the world happened?  I just watered it a week ago.  Well, I think it was a week ago.   I know this hibiscus is temperamental, always needing more water and more frequently for it to show it’s clown-red blooms.  But, it looked so bad I didn’t know if it could be revived.  I look at the other plants lined up next to it — the lily is limp.  The begonias too.  Even the Christmas Cactus feels spongy.  Oh… 

I do not “over-nurture” my plants as some others do.  We’ve had an understanding for the last 30 or so years…I give them water upon request and they flourish.  Have they all been asking and I haven’t heard?

We’ve had an unusual summer of unbearably high humidity or heavy rain.  I thought my  “indoor” houseplants would be unaffected.  (Thankfully, after giving each of them a life restoring drink, I am relieved the hibiscus is not dying from wilt disease.) 

indoor plants 001 hibiscus

You would never know of their apparent — but honestly unintentional — neglect.)

indoor plants 002 healthy plants

Still, I ponder this “wake-up” call of nature trying to tell me something.

This spring, not long after having major surgery, a cardinal began flying into our windows.  My Animal Speak book suggested he was warning me to pay more attention to my health and well-being.  So, I added Tai Chi classes several times a week, began eating more berries and nuts, and learning how to live more effectively as an HSP.   I was already walking 3 miles with some hefty inclines a few times each week but the weather put a (hopefully temporary) damper on that too.

It’s now mid-summer and we’re surprised the cardinal is not dead.  He’s relentless — flying into windows on both sides of our house — no matter what we’ve used to detract him.  The impact of his body crashing against the glass wakes me most mornings.   What is he trying to tell me?  Did he have to employ the wilted hibiscus to get my attention?

 

 

Winding Roads

Someone read a poem today.
That made me think

The winding road
is
our lives.

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Many of us reach the same destination.
Albeit different ways,
Different paths, whys, hows,
with different words
for the same concept —
a nearly same experience.

Isn’t that the wonder of our uniqueness
yet sameness?

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We begin a path, a book, a plan,
then change course
for whatever reason.
A break-up.
Job loss.
Dying desire
to live
one’s passion.

Altering our course
we may step back
and the change brings greater challenges
we did not forsee
ahead
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yet we gain along the way
from what we did not know,
And then it is behind us.

 

 

Why focus on the end
when we never know
when
the end will truly be?

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Fluent by John O’Donohue

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

 

“Flexibility”

I begin each day picking a word for guidance out of the cobalt blue glass container.   Just a little something to set my intention for the day before the mental chatter of the “TO DO list” dictates my time and ultimately my mood.  Today, the message is flexibility.  “Good choice, I think to myself already knowing that the weeds are growing as well as the tomatoes and basil…that my border collie is waiting for her morning Frisbee…the phone doesn’t stop ringing, e-mails are mounting, the grass needs to be cut, and I’m trying to get in a daily walk.  Oh yeah, did I say I have responsibilities of a job to pay the bills too?  I’m guessing you can relate to this and your list is probably even longer.

Someone suggested placing no more than 5 items a day on my To Do list.  That’s never seemed possible yet yesterday’s unfinished tasks glare at me rather than offer a cheery “Good Morning.”  Intellectually, I know this sets me up for feeling unaccomplished and sometimes overwhelmed.   (Being an HSP, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.)

My MO is tackling a project and staying with it til the end (while feeling guilty that other tasks wait for attention) but as Dr. Phil says, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”  Sometimes yes.  Sometimes no.  Probably no, more often than not.  Living with a workaholic does not support my efforts for balance and flexibility yet underscores the importance of it.   (I learned that the hard way years ago but that’s another story for another time.) For now, I need to take small bits at a time.  Weed one section of the garden, mow one acre, respond to e-mail only at designated times of the day.  Reprioritize as necessary.  Go with the flow.  Be flexible.

Even the word flexible seems to have a nice bend to it and immediately conjures up an image from a quote I read long ago:

Baum_Sardinien Bending Tree

“…A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind…”  – Lao Tzu

To not be flexible is a death of sorts.  If I first make time for stillness (meditation),  the day will gently unfold, rather than feeling like I’m tackling each task like a football pro.  Again, I am reminded of Lao Tzu’s wisdom:

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.          Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

He wrote this in the 6th century B.C.!  Just think about that.  It was long before technology, computers, planes, cars, etc., but the population was fraught with worry and running around frantically even in those times.  Perhaps these are simply life lessons for being human. 

Lao Tzu’s sentiment has appeared before me a few times this week. No surprise.  Thank you, Universe.  Yes, everything will happen as it’s meant to be, on its own schedule.  Gardening has taught me that.  Sometimes I need a reminder.  I’m human.  Now, I’m going to take a deep breath and do some Qigong in the garden with my border collie then let the day unfold as it will…

Daoist-symbols_Qingyanggong_Chengdu

 

Infinity

When I look, really look at the variety of colors, shades, textures, patterns, sizes, etc., etc., etc., in the garden and mountains beyond, I am stunned.  Consider, for just a moment, the endless shades of pink.

 

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How does that make you feel?

How do they know?

I made a hearty bouquet last week of wild tiger daylilies and spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis that I placed in a cobalt blue vase to greet me in the morning and accompany nighttime meals.  This lively contrast of oranges and purples contained flowers in bloom and those in waiting.

On day 2, several of the lilies had closed and dried while others had bloomed.

On day 3, several other lilies closed and dried.  New ones bloomed.  The same held true for the spiderwort pods.

lilies and spiderwort 017 transformation

As this process continued throughout the week, I noticed that each bud seemed to be taking turns in its cycle of life.  I wondered, “How do they know when to bloom and when to die?”