LIFELIGHT ASTROLOGY MAY 2013
By Michelle McClunan
This is a power month with not one, but TWO eclipses, giving us extra oomph to seriously change things at the deepest level possible. There is an intense opposition at the moment, which is causing many of us to feel frustrated and stuck in certain areas of our lives. This discomfort is exactly what we need actually to push us to re-evaluate our values, our self worth and try to understand our core belief systems, as the Sun travels through Taurus. Later in the month it moves into Gemini, which is about the stories we tell ourselves and how we communicate with others...
This might sound like just another concept for yet another newsletter, but in my experience both personally and professionally, getting to grips with our core beliefs and our mind talk is probably the most important thing we can do if we really want to understand ourselves and live our true potential.
Why? …. Well basically, our core beliefs are the main generator of our emotions and basically run the show from behind the scenes. The reason for this is that they are often submerged deep in the unconscious, so it’s rather tricky, if not impossible to work with them until we bring them into the light of awareness.
How often do you find yourself reacting in a way that seems disproportionate to the situation at hand? There you are, happily bumbling along your little path, full of peace and light and good intentions, when out of blue ....boom… Something happens or someone says or does something that sends you spinning off into another orbit. Before you know it you’re reacting in a way that your rational adult self wouldn’t consciously choose?
It usually starts with a physical sensation – you feel as if you’ve been kicked in the solar plexus…. or prickles creep up your neck…..you tummy clamps in anxiety…. you feel heat rising up to your neck into your head…your hands start to shake…you start sweating…. You feel nauseous….a tremor runs through you… you get a sudden headache… perhaps tears even spring from your eyes…
However, due to so many of us living our lives in fast forward, we generally don’t pay a lot of heed to how we’re feeling at any given time – so we go straight into reaction or suppression. We might at the moment of the trigger immediately react by snapping or sniping or completely letting rip at some poor unsuspecting sucker, or throw them a zap sign, burst into tears or have a tantrum.
Or, we might take the “stiff upper lip” stance, brace ourselves and just carry on as if nothing happened, in so doing, suppressing the whole thing. The third option would be to try to numb the discomfort by reaching for the Rescue, the whisky, the cigarette or the cell phone. Unfortunately none of these actually work, because sooner or later we will probably snap at someone or we will feel unaccountably blue, exhausted, irritable or ill – but when that happens, we won’t link it to the initial event.
Men are disturbed not by things but by the views they take of them’ (Epictetus, 1st Century A.D.
What ‘s actually happening here and can we change the pattern?
Depending on your frame of reference, what’s happening is that you’ve triggered your Pain body (Ekhart Tolle), your core wound, the Ego or Egoic mind, the false self , the lizard brain (Martha Beck). Or more scientifically, you have activated the limbic or primitive brain. This is the earliest part of the brain to develop and is programmed to keep us alive – in other words for fight or flight. At the moment of the trigger, our brains and bodies are pumped with adrenalin and cortisol, so in that moment we are not thinking… just reacting.
It’s only when we start to become aware of when we’re being “limbic” (J) that we can start to consciously and mindfully activate the upper of the brain or pre-frontal cortex, (where we actually release Gaba, which calms us down).
The good news is that we are not set in stone and do have the ability to transform the way we feel about ourselves and how we react. We are not victims of our neurons, our brains or our genes. The more mindful or conscious we become, the more we can choose more empowering responses.
The first step, in my experience, is to notice how you’re feeling in your body. You don’t try to change it …just notice it. Our bodies do not lie …what you are “feeling” at any given moment is true and real.
The next step is to listen to what your mind is telling you about the situation – and we sure do have wild imaginations. This calls for “no holds barred” honesty. You are not being mature or spiritually evolved here. The most effective way by far is to write down exactly what you’re thinking and feeling. This sounds long and tedious, but actually it only takes a couple of minutes.
As you write, keep asking yourself what this means about you.
Here’s an example – You’re experiencing financial concerns. You get an email requesting that you pay more than you thought you needed to. In that moment, you feel all sorts of sensations in your body. You notice them and write them down. Then you write down what you’re thinking …eg ‘I don’t know how I’m going to pay the bill” , which could lead to “I’m not going to survive financially” … “I’m going to lose everything”…”I’m going to land up on the street”. You then ask yourself what that would make you and you might get to something like “I’m a failure” or “I’m useless”.
Ooof! ….And there you have it – one of, if not your main (false) core belief.
Feeling uncomfortable reading this?…its ok…just feel it and keep reading.
It’s obviously completely different for everyone. Some people have NO problem with money – and actually, if you quiz them, they will tell you “I have a wonderful relationship with money” There’s a good example of a positive neural pathway. However that very same person might have a deep issue with their self worth and work themselves almost to death to try and prove that they’re ok. Everybody’s got something.
Back to the “process”.. Having completed your “vent”, you then take a few deep breaths and bring yourself into the present moment. This helps to activate the upper rational brain. In this more empowered state, you run through what you have written and ask yourself what is true and what is false. Bear in mind that if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s supposition, or an imagination of your mind. If the sentence has the words “always, never, all, none, can’t, have to etc … probe them deeper. If you drill down enough, you will discover that much of what you have written is completely untrue – most especially your core belief. If you’re not sure about this, ask yourself whether there has ever been a time when the “core belief” has been untrue. Eg –“I am a failure” – ask Have you ever succeeded at anything?” If the answer is yes, then the initial statement or belief is false.
Then ask whether this particular belief is helping or hindering you and whether there is a way of re-framing it that is more empowering. Then close your eyes and see yourself living in that more positive way.
Here’s another way of re-programming your responses and one we can all relate to. Getting stuck in traffic, which results in you feeling angry or frustrated. By feeling angry every time we are in traffic, we are strengthening that neural pathway and cementing the same emotional response every time. When there is nothing we can do in that moment but accept the traffic, if we notice our feelings, in that moment, we have the ability to choose a different response – eg “Ok, I can get into a frothy or… this is an excellent chance for me to practice my deep breathing, still my mind or listen to music”. Hard I know, especially at the start, because the well developed neural pathway leads straight to frustration and perhaps anger. However, every time we choose another response, we build a new pathway, which gets stronger and stronger, until it becomes our default.
So actually, people or situations (even traffic jams and irksome taxi drivers) that trigger a physical or emotional reaction are gifts, as they offer us keys to self understanding.
My experience is that to fully re-programme our core beliefs and make new neural pathways, we need to tackle them with consistency and endurance and by using a holistic approach. For example, rather than using positive affirmations alone (ie I am abundant, I am lovable, I am successful) , its far more effective to connect with the “feeling” of your affirmation through meditation or a visualisation. This, as well as the practice of keeping a gratitude journal and have been proven to be highly effective at changing conditioning. Body work, movement and energy work also help hugely to release blocks on other levels.
Its sometimes quite difficult to do this by yourself at first, so if you are feeling stuck in repetitive behaviour or patterns, you might consider eliciting the services of a good life coach or therapist to get you going.
In my practice, I start with the astrology chart, which gives an excellent indication of the initial pattern/ wound and what caused it. I then do “Process Coaching” where I help people to experientially change and release old patterns.
When, in a moment when you would normally over-react, you can stand in your power, and realise that you can choose how you are going to respond, it’s one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself.
MAY ART & SOUL WORKSHOPS
I will be running three Saturday workshops in May
THE TAPESTRY OF YOUR LIFE
Trace the connections in your life and identify your golden threads of passion, enabling you to find more
Purpose, Direction & Meaning
Create the Tapestry of your Life, using a combination of painting, words and imagery
FREEDOM THROUGH PAINTING
A FUN creative day to immerse yourself in the pleasure of painting
No limits, no outcomes.
You are welcome to bring an artwork you would like assistance with.
SHIFT YOUR CORE BELIEFS
If you would like to really start identifying and changing the patterns that may be holding you back in your life, this is the workshop for you.
Using a combination of journaling, NLP and Process Art we, will start building a new Neural truth highway.
WEDNESDAY ART & SOUL CLASSES - 9:30 to 12:30
This month we will be starting the exciting journey of visual journaling the Story of our Lives.
This will include an exciting journey through the 7 chakras.
Your story is a kind of water, making fluid the brittle events of your life – Carl Jung
PRIVATE PROCESS COACHING
In a series of private sessions, using a combination of Astrological counselling, Neuro Linguistic programming, creative visualisation and expressive art, I will help you to find direction & work towards your goals.
Michelle is a graduate of the Rod Suskin School of Astrology, where she earned a distinction for the three year Diploma in Astrological Studies. She is also a qualified NLP counsellor and process art facilitator.
Email email@example.com or phone 0834145641