Saturday, August 12, 2017

What I Did on My Summer Vacation (or How an Astrology Bender, Yoga, and Logic the Rapper Touched Me)

 by Susannah Azzaro

Every summer I receive a gift of four weeks off from work. This summer has been particularly enlightening, but you wouldn’t know it from the things I’ve checked off my TO DO list. Let me set this up with some context.
Last summer I went on an astrology “bender” of sorts. I took an online course to satisfy and bring some focus to my long-standing curiosity of the stars and planets and how everything in this universe is connected. Then the school year took off and that interest got swept to the side. 
This summer I found myself studying again. I took a moon workshop by Rasa-Lila Healing Tim Halloran. Tim reminded me that, despite our society’s very linear and masculine way of relating to and moving through the world, we are ebb-ers and flow-ers at our center. I learned that the new moon in Leo on July 23rd was the beginning of a new powerful lunar phase. Since then, I’ve been paying attention to what has been sprouting in my heart. And actually, that is what has been sprouting….my heart. 
I also began noticing the themes of contentment and coherence coming up in conversations with friends. Contentment (Santosha in the yogic tradition) invites us to take “refuge in a calm center, opening our hearts in gratitude for what we do have, and practicing the paradox of ‘not seeking.’”** Coherence goes right along with contentment; it means that despite what is occurring both inside of me and outside of me, I can use some simple tools to stay calm, alert, and focused. Coherence, I believe, is what allows me to come into a more compassionate relationship with all of my pieces and parts. 
Back to the moon…The full moon is a kind of full expression of whatever seed is planted at the new moon. And on August 7th there was a lunar eclipse on top of it. Very powerful symbols and energy. On the day of the full moon/lunar eclipse, my daughter, Alana, shared with me a song called Black Spiderman ( by a rapper she likes named Logic. I loved the song so much that by the end of the day, I had listened to it at least 20 times … and then I learned about Logic. Despite his young age, and horrendously challenging background, this young man is a light - incredibly wise, authentic as hell, committed to peace and diversity, and so creative and talented. His song is about accepting self and others - not such a new message, but it hit me in a new way. (If you want to see an inspiring interview with Logic, check out this link:
I have to take this idea of acceptance really deep, though. It isn’t enough for me to acknowledge and feel compassion and love for everyone. I’m always turning back inward. What pieces and parts of me am I learning to love and accept…the really, really deep parts? Try this: One way to begin to notice and accept your rejected pieces and parts is by thinking of someone who really gets under skin…someone you’re really struggling with….and then list 3-5 or more things you dislike about them. Those qualities might just be the unloved or unaccepted parts of you. It can be a really eye-opening exercise. (Of course, you can do this exercise with positive aspects of people as well.) 
Back to eclipses….you probably have heard that there will be a complete solar eclipse on the 21st of this month. It’s extremely powerful. One astrologer I follow calls it a reset button. Personally and collectively we have the opportunity to reflect on what we deeply desire to reset…or rather, what is INVITING us to reset. When computers are “hung up” we do this. We turn them off and back on and it clears the cache…the stuff it’s holding onto that’s slugging up the system. We can do this deep within ourselves, as well. Even if you don’t buy into astrology, you can still reflect on this idea. What are you hung up on that’s been slugging you up for a long time? - First thing that pops into your head... What are you believing about yourself that you are ready to let go of? - First thing that pops into your head… For me, it’s about truly VALUING and feeling at home with EVERY ASPECT of myself….valuing EVERY part me – messy contradictions and all. 
We can do this reset thing together… from a place of calm, focused, centered, awareness, with our personal and collective coherent hearts leading the way. Wanna join me?

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