Top of the morning to you my dear friend! How is September treating you so far? Feeling the effects of Mercury Retrograde? I’m having a grand old time with the combination of this delicious weather and the fact that I’ve been spring cleaning like a woman possessed.
Alas, many of my friends have the same idea, so just when I’ve downsized my wardrobe, I’m gifted with beautiful outfits that replenish my cupboard once again.
And speaking of decluttering, I’ve noticed that this seems to be happening A LOT with people’s close relationships this past week.
It took a while for me to register that we are once again in a Mercury Retrograde (when the planet of communication travels backwards), and emotions are heightened, technology throws tantrums, nerves are frayed and in 9 out of 10 cases, boundaries need to be re defined.
How was that for a sweeping statement and an over generalization?
But the truth is, life goes on. Babies are born, airplanes still fly, employees resign, entrepreneurs launch programs, yogis still meditate and couples get married.
In fact, they say that if you were born during Mercury Retrograde, you’re less likely to be impacted negatively each time it happens again, and I’m actually marrying 3 couples during this retrograde period. (As the celebrant obviously -I’m not planning to get divorced 3 times).
Sometimes during a Mercury Retrograde, people from your past will pop in to your life unexpectedly, and I’m a firm believer that this sort of thing happens all the time anyway, and doesn’t need to be perceived as a disruption.
We don’t necessarily have to read into it as though it’s some sort of sign that means we have to question whether or not we’re on the right path, or take it as a surefire indication that we need to make a drastic change in our life.
It doesn’t have to be that dramatic, but if you ARE feeling like you’re in the midst of some sort of tragic theatre production that you desperately want to exit stage left from, here are a few little tips that might soothe your nerves.
Argued? Clashed? You want-to-wring-their-neck-more-than-usual?
At the risk of over-normalizing the situation and trivializing your feelings, this is actually normal. If this is happening, it’s happening for a reason, and its probably because you need to take a break or even modify the way you interact with someone. It’s OK to move on when you’ve out grown the dynamics of a relationship.
Sometimes it’s about tweaking certain boundaries so that you’re less available, or less social with this person. And this doesn’t necessarily have to be done in a cruel heartless way, nor does it need to emulate a Greek tragedy.
In fact many of my relationship break ups probably could have been avoided, had I just embraced the notion of making some edits to the way we interacted and elegantly moved us to the loving acquaintances’ circle instead of flogging a dead horse with daily interactions we had both outgrown.
Are you loyal ‘to a fault’?
My friend Heather Porter and I had an incredible chat about this. You can even check out our 5 minute conversation here where she outlines how she can struggle when she’s been reactive and stressed, but has learned to harness the power of being a good listener.
She holds the space for people by listening and has found if you don’t listen well, you can miss important things about someone’s story. We discuss the differences between being having clear boundaries and then potentially being taken advantage of because you’re ‘loyal to a fault’.
The other extreme is to have such firm boundaries that you cull your friends in order to ‘cut-dead-wood-from-your-life’. The thing with this approach is that it doesn’t always teach us the lesson that we need to embody and as a result, this type of relationship dynamic will likely keep popping back up in our life til we finally take responsibility for our part in the story.
Remember the 4 agreements by don Miguel Ruiz? They are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word:
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love. And if you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say anything at all! Words can manifest, so if you’re speaking badly about someone, many shamans believe it’s a form of black magic.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. The best part about taking this piece of advice and actually embodying it, is that we no longer make it all about us.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. As much as we may think we know our loved ones, we don’t always know the full details of what may be weighing heavy on their heart, or how deeply they may be processing something that we may not be aware of.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret. Remember that everyone else is also trying to do their best, even if they’re displaying hurtful behaviour. Having someone project their anger / sadness on to you is one thing, but one of the best things that you can do for your soul, is to graciously learn how not to not take it on.
Pause. Get your ducks in a row (or maybe just organise your files)
This is one of the best times to clear your cupboards, organise your files and to get your admin up to date. Make sure you remain astute about saving your work as you go along.
I forgot to do this as I was updating my tax records last week and I was NOT impressed with having to re-enter the expenses for July and August because I’d forgotten to save my work.
It did however teach me to be more focused and present for the rest of the numbers I entered instead of allowing myself to get distracted by other things. Sometimes little glitches like that give us the gift of presence and a one pointed focus in order to be more efficient with our time. Has this been happening for you as well? I’d love to hear about it!
Til next time, Patty