As I sit here tonight typing these words, I am humbled by the nature of my blogging challenge. How do I know the extent of the changes I have experienced during 2020? I expect many more insights will be revealed in the weeks and months ahead. However on this day of Thanksgiving here in the US, I want to speak to the expansion and abundance residing within me. So here we go!
This is my entry for the Change Challenge, in which I challenged myself and other writers to take stock of their transformation in this year unlike any other. I needed to develop some structure for this piece, a way to organize my thoughts. I have become less organized as a result of this time without work and without many outside activities. I decided to start with describing the changes internally and externally, as one often reflects the other.
Sacred old oak outside of my terrace.
My physicality had shifted in some ways. I have lost about 7-10 pounds. This was not intentional and yet, I have wanted to lose more weight for some time now. My hair is very long again and is in need of a serious trim. Often I see a much older woman in the mirror, due more to lack of vitality or mood than actual aging. Stress can leave its mark. This perception of aging is in flux: some moments I see a woman who is absolutely beaming. 2020 for me is a time of paradox and inconsistency.
I have often wondered what I would do with unlimited time, free from the confines of a full time job. My last job was so exhausting as I discovered that while I am a night owl, 10 or more hours per day at the office was not ideal. As is often the case, I find myself with either more money and less time, or less money and more time. But this year it has been more money ( for a few weeks), less money, and more time, but with constraints on freedom and social outlets.
I had initially thought I would give my home a thorough cleaning and throw out all the stuff I no longer want or need. Well, I learned quickly that I am not an iota more motivated to do either. I will at times dive into a small cleaning or sorting project, but this urge is haphazard and short-lived at best. The few changes I have made to clear up some clutter have served me well though. While I have done way less shopping in stores, I found a way to accumulate more books, newspapers, and magazines! This is not surprising though.
My car usually has a mask sitting above the dashboard and my scarf from last March is now on the back seat. I periodically collect food containers and bags from Dunkin or Starbucks, the difference now being that I let them pile up longer on the floor. I used to have an immaculate car, but I hardly drive anymore so who cares? The car has collected some minor scratches on the ride side from other cars and from my inability to navigate my crowded neighborhood street. As I have mentioned before, people have been flocking to my community on the weekends and park on both sides of my narrow winding street, making driving and parking a dangerous and slow process. In some ways I can see myself reflected in my car Azia, less utilized, more scratched up, but still able to get from point A to point B.
Procrastination versus action: I had thought that my procrastination has receded over the years, but now I am not so sure. I waited until tonight to do this blog post, but I was home all day. I did not want to write it way ahead of time, because I wanted the Thanksgiving energy ( and transiting sun on my MC) to be in full effect. I did follow through on launching a job search in September, but have not been that motivated. I have done several interviews and so far none have felt right to me. My fear of more illness has impacted my drive to run errands or take walks or do much outside the home. It’s funny though that in the beginning of the Pandemic, I took a walk almost every night while I worked remotely from home. This was in pre-mask America, before the hospitalizations and deaths began to accelerate. I realize that your mileage may vary because governmental and geographic differences are noteworthy. I do need more exercise and wish to walk more often. I tend to enjoy walking in the cold weather and am hoping the “tourists” will disperse once the weather goes below freezing.
Rigidity versus adaptability: Many who know me well would call me stubborn, fixed, or rigid and they would be correct. As a therapist, astrologer, and writer, I am less so, because my creative process kicks in and takes on a life of its own. Outside of these domains, I tend to be a creature of habits and preferences. But I have shifted a bit more towards spontaneity and adaptability as this year has progressed. I have taken on projects without much planning or scheduling. Quite a few opportunities have “landed in my lap” without warning or much wiggle room for preparation. Yet my devotion to watching TV at a designated time has continued to take priority. While it may not seem “enlightened” to say, watching TV grounds me and soothes me, as it has since childhood. I am more careful about what I take in, but I find the regularity and predictability comforting now more than ever. This comfort zone has been disturbed often though by “news conferences” and power outages. It is quite odd how often my apartment complex loses power. But I digress.
Connection versus isolation: I am an introvert at heart, but have really been craving human contact the past few months. I have dreams of being hugged probably because I have not had a hug in many moons. While I live among many neighbors, I am not close with most of the recent crop. I talk with friends on the phone and do countless zooms for all types of activities. And social media of course ( but I am more careful with FB). I have recently become acquainted with audio books and find the narration enjoyable. It substitutes for connection. The most common in -person encounters I have are in the grocery store, drug store, or at drive thrus. These are usually not connections I look forward to. Yet, some are surprisingly pleasant. Admittedly the energy I bring to the transaction often determines at least a portion of the outcome.
Acknowledging fears and challenging their hold on me: This is a heavy topic for me. As I have written previously, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto are dancing together in the 12th house of my natal chart. I have had Jupiter and Saturn visit here before, but it is a first for Pluto and all three together is very disturbing. The combination of expansion, fear, and renovation to my psyche has been quite torturous to endure. Memories of people and events long forgotten pop into my head as flashes from the void. My sensitivities have become more pronounced. often leading to more illness. For example, after learning about someone’s breast cancer diagnosis, my chest began to hurt a few weeks later. After reading about someone being hospitalized for diverticulitis, I end up back in the ER ( this past Sunday.)
Sidebar: This was an interesting visit in that my CT scan proved I had no colon dis-ease and seeing 2 newborns in the room next door elicited feelings of revitalization, an unexpected rebirth. The drive to and from the ER gave me a chance to wave good bye to my former office building and many of the places I frequented while working there.
When I focus on someone, I quickly imagine their circumstances and carry some of their distress with me. While this is not uniquely a 2020 happening, the frequency and intensity has increased. Some of my darker impulses and thoughts have also returned, and I do not feel good about it. Yet, I eventually return to self compassion and self love, as I know that most of these darker tendencies have emerged due to stress and trauma from living in such an unstable time. I sometimes have a desire to check out and be done with this lifetime, but over and over again I make a reversal and commit to living out my time here. It is usually the kindness and generosity of others or a striking synchronicity that warms my heart and sparks some hope for a better “now moment.” Lorie Ladd’s videos have been a blessing. She is so encouraging and genuine and shines her light very brightly. Like I hope to do again myself soon.
New endeavors and values clarification: Around April or so, I was determine to make my mark and morph into a newer me with a unique career/business. This quickly fizzled out as my health deteriorated and I became enthralled in financial and bureaucratic difficulties. A few of these remain as of today. This does not mean I am entirely closed off to vocational reinvention, but there does not seem to be much spark or movement that I can track.
I have been very busy, especially since September. This season has been devoted to pursuits I have long wanted to explore. Some have been long held dreams on hold while others a bit more recent. I have been attuned to Reiki 1, completed an Art History class on Matisse, am currently studying Animist Psychology, and have taken some other online projects on self – development. Reiki is confusing to me in its subtle nature. It has not prevented health issues, which is disappointing, but it has begun to change me in incremental mysterious ways. I will say more about this in the future.
My Matisse class was a revelation. The instructor was so nurturing and passionate in a way that I need at this time. She taught me to see art differently and in turn , to see all of life with new eyes. Matisse was enchanted by the light and I did not know of this before taking the course. My trip to the Barnes was the respite I needed from this bland housebound existence I have come to know. I will write more about this also in future posts.
My current Animist Psychology course is so dense and overwhelming. Daniel Foor is Plutonian , yet communicates like a Virgo. Precision with intensity. At times his energy is too much for me to absorb. The material covers a lot of topics, from shamanism, to clinical practice, to cultural and environmental abuse, to ancestral wounding, and so much more. It feels to me like I have covered this all before, but in another way and perhaps in a different timeline. It was not a random occurrence that I found and signed up for this course. I was strongly drawn to it and consider it to be among some of the projects I have meant to take on for years. Many of the subjects are both familiar and unknown to me in some undefined fashion. I was happy to learn that another blogger is taking the class and that I get to meet with hundreds of students on the live calls from all over the planet. Some are healers, others are seeking healing, and many like myself, encompass both paths. What I can report to be uplifting is my heightened reverence for the non – human life forms and the land that I inhabit. I felt such a bold aliveness on my walk today from all the plant life, sky, and ground that surrounded me. The sun was uncharacteristically warm and light danced everywhere. I featured photos today that reveal the light’s marvel and power.
One of the most obvious ways I have changed is that my values have been refined and brought more into focus. Love, communion, vitality, beauty, authentic truth, silence, curiosity, knowledge, kindness, and purpose. I strive to take more opportunities that offer me a chance to live any of these values. When I follow through and embody these values, I feel more alive and in the flow.
Revised attitudes: This has gotten to be quite a lengthy essay but it is winding down. I will conclude by saying that I am listening more to my own inner voice and other guidance like a young child obeys her mother. When I am hungry I eat, when tired I sleep, when sad, the tears flow, when lonely I either process the feelings or seek connection. I do not have the luxury anymore to ignore these calls. My body is more susceptible to dis-ease, often compounded by fears and the perceived lack of safety. I choose to honor my humanness rather than pretend it is should take second place to some other goal. I am more “on the edge” in many ways, but also wiser and self-protective. This is yet another paradox of 2020 that I attempt to reconcile. I am grateful that my moods do not linger that long and that I have more books and projects than I could complete in the remainder of this lifetime.
While I do believe all this 12th house activity has exacerbated my reactions to living during such an unpredictable and revolutionary year, I have learned to accept that this is not an accident. I have read recently that embodied ascension is about loving all of life in all its forms, including one’s shadow along with one’s light. Yes, this idea is not new, and yes, I have written about this concept on this blog on more than one occasion, and yet I am interpreting it in a new way now. I am here and it is no mistake. My losses and my gains, my triumphs and my errors, my disappointments and my opportunities, none have more or less worth in the long run.
The light still remains….
15 comments on “The Light Remains”
There’s so much in this journey of yours, your choices for your organization and self-reflection included. The feeling of reading this is one of transparency. I believe maybe Tania also responded in a similar way from reading your essay. This reads as an essay, and it felt like the Aquarian objectivity was the viewing lens. I found the analogy to your body and/or self to be like your car, was really adorable. You describe yourself as stubborn and leaning to more of your habitual nature, and I think that’s what’s charming about this essay and the character behind it–the persistence to be who you are. I think there’s great beauty in that. I think personalities and characters are interesting in that way; being a spiritual person as yourself, I see you stepping out of your everyday role and really being able to examine as a witness beyond other descriptors you would give yourself.
There’s so much sweetness throughout this piece. The inter-images of lovely trees (are those Japanese Maples?!) with the gorgeous speckled coats of brilliant crimson. Thinking about your art class and your trip to Barns? I wonder what that journey might have been like, as I miss the PA landscape. Then I got to this line: “I have dreams of being hugged probably because I have not had a hug in many moons,” and I remembered that picture we took with Sarah when we met at the restaurant in Philadelphia, and I am sending you *that* hug. We had on big fuzzy coats, and I remember the restaurant being so toasty inside. We were packed with a A LOT of people–totally pre-Covid. It was a complete contrast to now!
I think it’s great that you took your own Change Challenge, and you came up with such a wonderful result! How perfect to choose the time of the Sun conjoining your MC. For me, I too have the full 12th house, aye ya ya; it’s been a doozy. For me there’s been a saturated inner/hidden journey that so much of it still hasn’t seeped out into the other houses of awareness. That unconscious for me has been both a contributor and a self-undoer: naturally, greater awareness of it comes and goes in waves. Well, I am enjoying the journey. Thanks for your contribution, Linda.
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Dearest Ka, I reread your comment a few times to let it marinate. It seems like you were able to glean many insights about my journey and my process. I am pleased you are doing well with the 12th house occupation. I do not like it personally as I am uncomfortable and have plenty of other ways to navigate discomfort. I suspect so much still operates in my unconscious and I suspect that is intended to be self-protective foe one’s psyche.
Yes I believe they are Japanese Maples. I adore the color so I took many shots of these beauties. Thanks so much for the Ka Sarah Linda hug! ❤ I have those pics and find them adorable and silly in the most playful way. Sarah taught me to be more playful!
I benefit from your insights as you showed me aspects of this essay that were hidden from me so thank you!
BTW I do plan to devote some blogs to my art class and trip to the Barnes, I have just felt like the timing is off. I can get overwhelmed with certain topics and need to find my footing.
Big love and hugs, Linda ❤
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hi linda, i wanted to wait until i could reread your blog and immerse in the energy of your experience more fully, as well as devote the deserved time to a more thoughtful comment. thank you so much for always sharing transparently and being willing to express the varied dichotomies that life’s journey brings. indeed nothing is only this or that, but all things we travel through at one point or another, or sometimes at the same time. 2020 seems to have turned up the volume on all of that, so while it may have always been the case in the past, it’s so much more blaring now and for me it feels important for bringing things together despite feeling so apart. i love that you dove into some of the things that have called to your heart and it’s beautiful to read how you’ve come to embrace your humanness and dropping into body more, as well as starting to ignite a new experience of shadow and light interpretation. like you, i’ve many times in the past wanted to opt out, but truly recent years and this one in particular, have given rise to greater embodiment and a new approach that all make sense as to the alignment of being here at this time. grateful that you ARE here at this time with us and i honor the light you bring through your creative and unique frequency. ❤ lots of love always and a big warm hug
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Hi Tania, I really do appreciate that you took time to reflect and share your thoughtful reactions with me here. This entry was not meant to be so long, but before writing I knew it was possible that may happen. I wanted to give a raw honest portrayal of my ups and downs, lessons learned, along with lingering questions that often elude answers.
Thanks you so much for acknowledging that at one time you also were thinking you were ready to transition to the next phase of being. While I am not actively depressed, I do grow so tired of living a certain way, feeling so restricted and alone. And yet, my guidance is always available as are the miracles of spirit embodied in form. I cannot remember my pre birth plan, but I know I signed up to evolve and serve the planet in my own way. Thanks for the hug! 🙂 Now yours is on its way. Can you feel it?
love, Linda ❤
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aw thank you so much!! i DO feel it and i’m so grateful! you are a sweetheart ❤ i love reading your expressions of soul and heart and celebrate the resonance that weaves through our experiences. love you!
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Thank you for this honest and detailed post. I find the categories about which you reflected inspiring.
This year has been a mixed bag with advantages and disadvantages. I congratulate you to the good things that have happened for you and hope that the difficult parts will improve next year.
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Thanks Karin, it was a lonnnng post but I had a lot to say. It truly is a mixed bag with cool surprises and jarring setbacks. Everyone has their own experience and lens to view it through. I appreciate your support, as you are aware 🙂 and hope that you enjoy more joy than sorrow during 2020 and beyond.
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It’s extremely affirming to read this, especially about your struggles, Linda. This year, and the one prior, have brought so many changes to my life, some long overdue and some surprising. Although I am now retired, the pandemic quickly changed any plans or aspirations I had. On a daily basis, I just have to make my peace with that, and like you, there’s been some struggle with all of it.
I wish you all the best in 2021! Thanks for this candid post.
Much love, Debra
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Your heartfelt commentary means so much to me and I am sorry to learn about your struggles. I know you had made some extreme changes in your life but hoped they left you feeling relieved and unsaddled. I do look forward to retirement but am not old enough or quite ready to collect. If my words were affirming, my candor was well worth it! 🙂
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This is lovely. I hope 2021 brings even more light and healing your way and opportunities for you to share yours.✨
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Thank you Kristen. I wish the same for you and your family. ❤
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