Cracked sculpture

There’s a whole lot going on astrologically this month, especially right now and  for the next two weeks, when the Grand cross is being activated  once again.  Since the new moon in Cancer on the 27th June  and up until the  full moon on the 12th July, the energy may feel a little like a  pressure cooker that’s about to pop it’s lid, unless some steam is released

A myriad of emotions  may be  bubbling under that lid – tension, dissatisfaction, discordance, confusion  separation, grief, pain or even desperation

When the sun makes its annual sojourn through Cancer, deep feelings are always stirred up, but with Jupiter (the expander)  in the same sign this year, this is more prominent than ever.  We’re being asked to connect with the broader scope of our emotions, to dive deeper and be present for them all, the uncomfortable ones too.

Very often when I suggest  this to clients, they get a sort of a glazed look in their eyes, start fidgeting or have a sudden desperate need to go to the loo.  Even the word “uncomfortable”  or “discomfort” makes us feel ….well uncomfortable.  So what we clever little human “beings” do is become human “doings”, finding ways  to ease the discomfort or make it go away completely.

But what if, by escaping from or suppressing those feelings, we were missing the lessons too?  If I look back on my own life, each and every time my inner or outer landscape has become almost unbearable, it has catalysed me into making changes, which have often  opened the door to the  next step of my growth or the next opportunity.

The butterfly has to break out of the cocoon in order to survive. It’s a necessary struggle.

What if, out of discomfort, grief, sorrow, anger or loss, comes renewal?

What if Discomfort or Dis-ease serves  a crucial purpose and by disregarding it, we’re throwing our navvigational equipment into the furnace.

What if, the only way of truly  healing the heart is to feel everything? Oscar Wilde wrote “Hearts are meant to be broken”  and maybe he was  right!

What if, the next time we felt an uncomfortable niggly unwelcome feeling, we allowed ourselves to be completely present to it,  surrendered to it entirely? What if we invited it in, just as we do joy, love and peace. What then?

What if the uncomfortable feelings you’re having now are actually your faithful servants?

One way you can find this perspective is to reflect on the people and things you value in your life right now … your blessings.  Then look  back in the  rearview mirror, until you find a time when you experienced a challenging or uncomfortable life situation. When you’ve got one, find a thread linking it to your current blessings. IIf  it hadn’t been for the crisis,  the dirty rotten son of a gun,  the illness , you wouldn’t have met your best friend, lover or landed up living in the place you live in etc etc.  The discomfort with your situation may have pushed you to make  important changes, to take better care of yourself, to move out of a limiting job or relationship…all of which just may have served you… but you had to feel the discomfort first.

 Whilst  most of us (and I haven’t met many exceptions) embrace the light, the joy and the love in our lives, we very often  push the “bad” emotions or hard times away or really wish that they would end… and quickly too. When is there a light at the end of the tunnel? When am I going to feel better? When are things going to make sense?

When last did you hear anyone say “ I’ve really had enough of all this joy, love and peace?

We have somehow  managed to make ourselves  believe that feeling uncomfortable or sad or stuck or confused or even angry is a bad thing and should be banished at all costs.  But if that were true, how would we know when things needed to change?

What if we just stopped judging… everything?

What if we loved and accepted ourselves despite our cracks and imperfections or maybe even because of them?

What if we relieved the pressure by allowing ourselves to honour our precious feelings … all of them… giving them the chance to reveal our next steps.

Let yourself notice in the next few weeks the activities, people and situations that make you feel heavy or restricted.

Also notice when and where you feel light,  expanded and empowered.

Feel the feelings in your body, breathe and just take note – witihout judgement, as if you were the witness. Eg. Its interesting that when I walk into this space, this person’s presence, I feel……

Journalling or visual journalling are excellent ways  of checkin in with how we are feeling. I still have a couple of places on my Visual Journalling workshops on  the 5th and  19th July.  Contact me for details.

Jupiter the great motivator of the zodiac is spending his last few weeks in Cancer, helping us to connect to our feelings and reveal our next growth steps. When the giant planet moves into Leo on the 16th July, we will feel the need to implement changes that expand us – there may be a quickening, a lightening, as the focus shifts to creative expression, leisure, fun, entertainment and love.  Time to dust off those dancing shoes, get the paints out, re-string the guitar, plan that next exciting trip… Let the light in.

This is an amazing story written by Jack Kornfield in a Path to Love, which demonstrates the power of this work.

Naomi Remen, a physician who uses art, meditation, and other spiritual practices in the healing of cancer patients, told me a moving story that illustrates the process of healing the heart, which accompanies a healing of the body. She described a young man who was twenty-four years old when he came to her after one of his legs had been amputated at the hip in order to save his life from bone cancer. When she began her work with him, he had a great sense of injustice and a hatred for all “healthy” people. It seemed bitterly unfair to him that he had suffered this terrible loss so early in his life. His grief and rage were so great that it took several years of continous work for him to begin to come out of himself and to heal. He had to heal not simply the body, but also his broken heart and wounded spirit.

He worked hard and deeply, telling his story, painting it, meditating, bringing his entire life into awaraness. As he slowly healed, he developed a profound compassion for others in similar situations. He began to visit people in the hospital who had also suffered severe physical losses. On one occasion, he told his physician, he visited a young singer who was so depressed about the loss of her breasts that  she would not even look at him. The nurses has the radio playing, probably hoping to cheer her up. It was a hot day, and the young man had come in running shorts. Finally, desperate to get her attention, he unstrapped his artificial leg and began dancing around the room on his one leg, snapping his fingers to the music. She looked at him in amazement, and then she burst out laughing and said, “Man, if you can dance, I can sing”.

When this young man first began working with drawing, he made a crayon sketch of his own body in the form of a vase with a deep black crack running through it. He redrew the crack over and over and over, grinding his teeth with rage.  Several years later, to encourage him to complete his process, my friend showed him his early pictures again. He saw the vase and said, “Oh, this one isn’t finished.” When she suggested that he finish it then, he did. He ran his finger along the crack, saying, “You see here,  this is where the light comes through.” With a yellow crayon, he drew light streaming through the crack into the body of the vase and said, “Our hearts can grow strong at the broken places.”

This young man’s story profoundly illustrates the way in which sorrow or a wound can heal, allowing us to grow into our fullest, most compassionate identity, our greatness of heart. When we truly come to terms with sorrow, a great and unshakable joy is born in our heart.

Embracing the cracks