Solar Eclipse 13 July- Riding the Wave

raging sea


Have any of you been feeling some rather intense energy over the last few days …particularly around family, security, home, mothering, roots?  Well…  its not really surprising, as we prepare for the New Moon Solar Eclipse in Cancer in the early hours of Friday morning 13 July (in South Africa).

It’s always emotionally intense  when both the sun and the moon are in the watery, sensitive  sign of the crab, but this one takes it up a good few notches.

When we have a solar eclipse, the sun is overwhelmed by the moon.  In other words the feminine vanquishes the masculine. The light disappears and we are pulled into the darkness for a while.

This can feel scary at first, but when we stay there for a while, our eyes start to readjust and we start to see things differently. When the obvious colours and details are not available, we start to look at things in a deeper way. That is what is asked of us now.


This New Moon eclipse forms an exact opposition to Pluto, the king of the underworld, modern ruler of Scorpio.  Pluto is the plumber of the zodiac, beckoning us beneath the surface, so that we might process any debris that might be sitting there, or, to be blunt,  clear out the sewer. Not a particularly pleasant thing to do, but quite necessary every now and then to avoid even more, serious blockages in the future.

Suffice to say, emotions that are coming up right now might not be comfortable at all, especially for those who have a lot of fire/ air in their charts, who prefer to keep things light and positive!

Amongst myself and my closest friends, here are some examples of what is and has been arising over the past week. Issues around home/security/ finances/;    illness to do with fluids (pneumonia);  flooding of houses; old emotional issues coming to the surface;  leaking roofs,  a feeling of general down-ness or off-ness for no seeming reason; big emotions around parenting/  family issues and responsibilities; feeling sick to the stomach; feeling lost at sea, having lost sight of the shore; vivid disturbing dreams.

So – what do we do?

Well, those troublesome, irritating feelings or general dis-ease,  “off-ness” or “not-so-goodness”, are just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath, if we do some deep sea diving, we may discover beauties like anger, sadness, grief, rage or fear, which are desperately trying to get our attention. And… as usual, we have the choice to feel them or to beat them into submission… guess which one works better?


The good news is that if we are prepared to honour the feelings that come up, we have a very supportive, very powerful Grand Water Trine, formed by Sun/Moon, Jupiter and Neptune, which can help us to bring understanding to or clear some debris, so that we can move forward, lighter and less encumbered. Jupiter in Scorpio (more water)  has just moved direct after 4 months of being retrograde. With Jupiter being a beneficial planet, this can be seen as a positive thing – much like a giant pressure hose, coming in to clear away all the sticky stuff, if we choose to allow it to do so.

If however, we elect to repress or medicate or numb the emotions that are coming up, they will simply join the others  lurking in the sewer,  until the next time.

If  there was ever a time to ride the wave of emotion, this is it. Many of us are feeling the angst and suffering of Mother Earth and humanity right now, in addition to our own.  Consider this… what if, each time we  feel a feeling, without  censorship or guilt, we help to transmute it, perhaps not only for ourselves, but for mankind and Mother Earth too?


I see this as a time of radical self care. If you feel insecure, needy, inadequate, sad or full of rage, sit with it for a few moments and breathe into it…  or express it in some way… dance it, sing it, paint it, write a poem about it, journal it –   if it’s anger, hitting a pillow really helps.  Then ask yourself how best you can show up, nourish and nurture yourself.  Maybe that means  cooking yourself a warm nourishing meal, sitting next to a fire, or perhaps connecting with the people who love you, taking a nap, or having a hot bath.  What would you advise your best friend, lover or child to do if they were in distress?

…Do that for yourself!

Every single time we abandon or berate ourselves, we deplete our energetic  and emotional tanks. Every time we value and love ourselves, we fill them up. All our tanks need regular cleaning and refilling and this is the time to do it. The fuller our individual tanks are, the more love we have to give.


You might want to try Emotional Freedom Technique. Try it – it’s really simple and sure  does work. Whilst tapping certain points, you acknowledge what you are feeling (out loud preferably EG “Even though I am feeling …. X, Y Z, I deeply love and approve of myself”

Other tools that could help would be grounding – spending time outside with no shoes,  walking, spending time in nature, meditating, deep breathing, or visiting a hypnotherapist, trusted energy worker or psychologist. Just as we feed ourselves nutritional food,  and exercise our physical bodies, our emotional bodies and energetic bodies also need regular nourishment and tune ups!


Eclipses always happen in sets and have much longer lasting effects than normal new and full moons. This one marks the start of the Cancer/ Capricorn eclipse season, which will last until 2020, so there’s lots of time to work with these themes . The last time we had an eclipse at the same degree was 11 July 2010, so you might find that there are similar themes that are coming up.


This solar eclipse is also an excellent time to set new intentions. Wherever 20 degrees of Cancer/ Capricorn lies in your chart will usually be where this is most pressing.

If you’d like to plumb further into this, you might consider setting up an Eclipse Reading, where we can explore how and where this is going to be working with you personally over the next few years.


My next Art & Soul workshop, CELEBRATING WOMEN will be in Durban on Women’s Day, 9th August, followed by COME HOME TO YOU,  a retreat on 10th to 12th August, where I will be collaborating with Deborah Prosser of Rest & Digest.


Stay tuned for exciting new workshops and retreats in the Cape Area.

With  you in the Ocean





new moon cancerCome Home to your Heart

As the Sun and Mercury move into Cancer on Wednesday 21st June, followed by the moon on Saturday (full  moon), they forecast some internally watery times ahead… but before you roll your eyes heavenward and click to the next email or post, this is a good thing! Remember, nothing can survive without the nurturing properties of water.

As the focus shifts from Gemini to Cancer, we move from the head to the heart, from the rational mind to the  emotions, from external environments to the home, from  being busy busy busy, to  nurturing ourselves at the deepest level and to acknowledging and honouring our history and our roots.

woman washing

When I was contemplating this theme this morning, I felt led to pull a card out of my home-made deck of Soul Oracle cards and this one presented itself.

The meaning will be different for all of us, but in this context, for me , the guidance and confirmation is clear. We need to stand in the water/ in our feelings, engage with them with love and compassion…. One  by one… little by little, basin by basin.

If we do this regularly, we prevent those tidal waves of emotion coming at us and threatening to take the earth out from beneath our feet.  When we engage with our feelings quietly, gently, kindly, as they arise, we honour them and in so doing, we honour ourselves and connect with our true home, our heart.

When we do this, we heal not only the present, but the past as well.

These cards really fascinate me! I’d love to know what your take on this one is – Please share under this post on Facebook .

I still have space on my last ART OF LISTENING –  Oracle Card workshop of the year this coming Saturday, if you’d like to learn how to dialogue with your Soul’s guidance in this way (Scroll down to the bottom of the page)

With the deep feelings that are likely to be stirred up over the next month, we’re being encouraged to  become loving mothers to ourselves by truly honouring them.

We’re also being prompted to revisit the past, not so as  to dwell there, but  so as to bring understanding to it.

Speaking of the past,  If  you were given the opportunity of going back  and changing something in your life, what would it be?

Think about that for a few seconds before you read on.

Whatever you come up with will probably provide a clue as to what might be in need of healing and nurturing in your life. That might need be exactly what needs to be washed and rinsed again a few times, so as to provide clarity and understanding?

Now ask yourself this… if you did change that one thing, where would you be and who would you be right now?

Every single thing that happens to us, every choice we make (from the most mundane to the utterly profound) is interwoven into a universal tapestry containing threads of everybody’s lives we come into contact with us. We all have a profound impact on each other’s lives, whether we are aware of it at the time or not.


Have you ever considered, that if you had to go back and change one single thing in your life, everything would be different. Your home, your friends, the work you do, the children you have, the place you’re at in your personal development and the list goes on.

Changing one event would be like pulling an important thread out of the tapestry, which then starts to unravel. Very often, at first glance, our lives seem like a confusing jumble, much like the back of a tapestry.

In times of turmoil especially, we battle to see the big picture and feel lost in the chaos of it all. But then, when we investigate a little deeper, some common threads start to appear and the picture starts to come into focus.

Everything is connected. This is one of the reasons I love Astrology so much, because each chart I look at reveals these threads and reminds me daily of the Divine Symmetry and perfection that exists.

When looking back on the transits to a natal chart, they clearly show us where our defining moments have been. Like landmarks on a road map, these moments mark key points on our life’s journey.

Very often they feel like crises or huge challenges at the time, but when we look back at them, they almost always are invitations to shift and change and grow.


There is something very healing and nurturing about sifting through the waters of our past every now and again.

Clarissa Pinkola Estés, in her classic book ” Women who Run with Wolves” , describes the process of “Descansos”, which is a Spanish word that means rest or resting place.

We’ve all seen those little wreaths on the side of a road, marking or decorating the site of a tragic accident in which somebody died. Clarissa explains that we often come to a time (usually around midlife) when we  feel as though our lives are just a mass of broken hearts, marriages, dreams and promises ( a bit like looking at the back of that tapestry?)

We battle to make sense of it all.   She recommends that when we get to this point, we make a time-line of our lives, acknowledge where the significant milestones ( she describes them as small and big deaths)  have taken place and then decorate them with a descansos.

This is one of the most powerful processes I have done for the following reasons

  • We start to identify the threads that run through our stories – the ups, the downs, the losses the victories, the dark threads and the light, all making up the tapestry of who we are today.
  • We are able to see and acknowledge how and where we have triumphed… and if you’re reading, then you have triumphed!
  • We can then nurture ourselves and decorate our own souls in gratitude, as opposed to lamenting our supposed mistakes and failures.

“Loving ourselves through the process of owning our own story is the bravest thing we will ever do” Brene Brown

There’s another benefit to looking at our lives in this way. When we start to identify common threads on the back of our personal tapestry, something else rather magical starts to happen. Our golden threads are revealed. These are the threads that lead us to our highest potential, to our dharma, to our Soular Power. But more about that next time, when the sun moves into Leo.

spider web

For now, let’s make the most of the Sun’s passage through Cancer. Let’s be kind parents to ourselves, nurture ourselves, treat ourselves and others the way we would want to treat a precious child. Let’s not repress our feelings, because they are our inner compasses. Let’s feel into them and see what they have to tell us.

There is deep healing there. Anita Moorjani, who had terminal cancer, went into a coma where she had a near death experience and came back fully healed explains her experience like this

“ I saw my life intricately woven into everything I’d known so far. My experience was like a single thread woven through the huge and complexly colourful images of an infinite tapestry. All the other threads represented my relationships, including every life I’d touched. The threads represented every other person who’d ever come into  my life, whether they related to me in a positive or a negative way. The Universe makes sense! I understood that I owed it to my self to everyone I met and to life itself to always be an expression of my own unique essence.


This theme, right here, is my passion  and is the basis of SOULAR POWER. It’s forms the basis of all the work I do – the astrology, the navigation and the workshops and retreats. So – I’m very very excited to be running two separate workshops on this theme over the next two months.

It will be most beneficial to do both workshops, as they have been designed to run sequentially. You can either do one Saturday workshop in July and one in August or attend four Wednesday morning classes each month.

PART ONE – COME HOME TO YOUR HEART In July, the focus is on Self Nurturing. We will do a timeline of our lives and then make a mixed media photographic collage (with pics from our lives) to decorate and celebrate ourselves and what we have triumphed over.

PART TWO – FIND YOUR GOLDEN THREAD In August we will start to identify our golden threads, which show us the way to our highest potential. We will spend the day creating our very own personal labyrinth. I’ll be sharing some insights on this theme on FACEBOOK over the next month. Please join in the conversation and share how you connect to your intuition!


I still have space on my last  THE ART OF LISTENING workshop on 24th June, where I will be teaching you how to make your own deck of Soul Guidance Oracle Cards.

Thanks for reading 🙂


In light and life and Golden Threads


Lifelight Astrology Update 18th July 2016

boldnessBy Michelle McClunan

The full moon in the early hours of Wednesday 20th July is in no-nonsense, goal-driven, committed Capricorn, the sign of the trusty mountain goat. Full moons are always intense and this one’s no exception. Being in a square to fiery, revolutionary Uranus, we’re being encouraged to  s t r e e e t c  h  out of any comfort zones and commit to the vision/s we have for our lives.

There’s a compelling need to finally stop ruminating and to really get serious about the changes we want to make. As we continue to climb our 2016 mountains, we have reached the place where we need to stop and reassess everything.

Start by asking whether the mountain you’re on is actually the right one and if you’ve selected the best path possible… or whether you need to consult your internal GPS (your emotions – sun in Cancer) and reassess your route.

Do you have the provisions you need in order to make it to your summit and if not, how can you go about procuring them?

Perhaps you need to dump some excess baggage, so as to lighten your load or find some people to help you carry it….or maybe  you need to take a little bit of time out to  replenish your energy and gather your wits, before resuming your climb?

However  you decide to proceed, the time has come to really ask yourself what your real bottom-line priorities are… and then commit to them absolutely. 

Questions to ponder…

  • What is the most important, pressing thing in my life?…
  •  What is vital to my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing?
  • What ONE small  step can I take today towards consolidating this, making It a reality?

And then strategically plan to make time for it….every day. That’s what Capricorn, the pragmatic, disciplined time-keeper is really good at.

I think it’s about putting our priorities before everything else. If you really want to write,  paint, meditate,  exercise, eat well, start a new business, move into a new home, find a partner,  elevate your vibration, create more financial abundance in your life, change the world, then it’s about  making time for that before anything else.

I remember visiting an astrological  counsellor a long time ago, who asked what the biggest priorities in my life were. I told her that one of them was my spiritual / creative / personal development. She then asked me how much time I committed to it on a daily basis. When I answered, somewhat sheepishly, that I didn’t have a lot of free time to spend on it at all, a look of complete shock and confusion crossed her face. Frowning deeply, she  asked ” But how can you NOT spend time on it, if its the most important thing in your life?”

Food for thought…. her words come back to me often!

It’s about making time every single day for our top  priorities. If you look at people who achieve big things, that’s what they do.

William H Murray, Author of The Scottish Himalayan Expedition wrote this:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. That the  moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one, that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream, you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

…Like a mountain goat … one step at a time!

See below or email me for  details on my CELEBRATING YOUR INNER CHILD/TEENAGER  the workshops in July August and September.

I’m delighted to be planning an 2 day INTUITIVE ART  Workshop in Johannesburg on 17th  and 18th September. I’m giving you plenty of time to plan, because I know how fast paced it is up there. Let me know if you’re keen to find out more!

Have a wonderful wintery week.. Wrap up warm and nurture yourself

In light love and with commitment


Lifelight Astrology New Moon 16th July 2015

raging sea

This is a rockingly intense week emotionally, as we head towards the new Moon in Cancer on Thursday. Not only the sun and moon, but also Mars and Mercury are congregating in the super-sensitive sign of the crab and will be opposed by deep, dark, transformative Pluto.  There are some other rather tricky planetary fisticuffs which add to the picture as well this week, but suffice to say… emotions  are already, or will be coming up for a lot of us, which may not be entirely comfortable.

Those troublesome, irritating little feelings of “off-ness” or “not-so-goodness”, are just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath, if we do some deep sea diving, we may discover beauties like anger, sadness, grief, rage or fear, which are  trying to get our attention. And… as usual, we have the choice to feel them or to beat them into submission… guess which one works better?

I speak from personal experience, after waking up yesterday morning feeling absolutely, completely rotten emotionally… for no real rhyme or reason (that I could analyse anyway). But there it was – this heavy feeling –  like thick  grey lead jelly in my heart centre. Much as I tried (and I really did try) to ignore it, the feeling just wasn’t going away and I couldn’t get myself together  to get on with all the pressing things I had to do.

SO! … I elected to stop everything and honour what I was feeling, allowing it to just be there or to even expand if necessary.  After a short while of sitting quietly, the tears began to roll and before I knew it, they were flowing like the Victoria Falls.  I hung in there and not long afterwards, the sobs started to subside and  the lead jelly started to melt a little. Then there was what felt like a gentle voice (I don’t actually hear anything)  telling me that it was all ok, that I was fine and  I would survive. After a while, a couple of answers to some pressing questions started to drift into my consciousness too – without any effort.  I asked what I could do to support myself and the answer was – “Make some tea Michelle”… which I did.

A few minutes later, I was getting on with my day, feeling a whole lot lighter. Do I know what caused the heaviness?  Not really. Do I need to know? No I don’t. Did I need to just feel it?  Yes I did.  Is that feeling gone?  Not completely – but it’s changed.  And if it comes back, I know what to do.

If  there was ever a time to ride the wave of emotion, this is it. Many of us are feeling the angst and suffering of Mother Earth and humanity right now, in addition to our own. According to Matt Kahn, each time we are able to feel a feeling without censorship,  we’re helping to transmute it, not only for ourselves, but for mankind. A few tears for Mother Earth – I can do that!.

Themes that are likely to present themselves this week, are issues around  security, money, home, family, tribe, women and/or our mothers.

I see this as a time of radical self care. If you feel insecure, needy, inadequate, sad or full of rage, sit it with it or express it outwards –dance it, sing it, paint it,  if it’s anger, hitting a pillow really helps.  Then ask yourself how best you can show up for yourself. Maybe that means  cooking yourself a warm nourishing meal, sitting next to a fire (or a heater in my case – with a beanie on), or perhaps its connecting with the people who love you, taking a nap, or having a hot bath.  What would you advise your best friend, lover or child to do if they were in distress – do that!

Every single time we abandon or berate ourselves, we deplete our energetic  and emotional tanks. Every time we value and love ourselves, we fill them up. All our tanks need filling and this is the time to do it. The fuller our individual tanks are, the more love we have to give.

With  you in the Ocean


Lifelight Astrology June/ July 2015 – When you wish upon a star!

wish upon a star

As June draws to a close and we usher in July, there’s a little bit of magic and a touch of  stardust in the air. If you’ve been on Facebook over the last week, you’ve probably caught the rainbow wave, as the world celebrates the overturning of the same sex marriage ban in the US…. Finally!  Good to know that some things are moving in a positive direction!

And now in the next few days we have a whole lot of brightness happening in our night skies… and hopefully our lives!

If you’ve turned your eyes skywards over the past couple of weeks, you would have seen two really bright “stars” up there!  Last weekend they were very close to the moon. What you’ve actually been gazing at, are Jupiter and Venus, our two most beautiful, beneficial, bountiful planets. They’ve been waltzing towards each other for a while now and on June 30th / July 1st, the music reaches a crescendo and the two finally come together in a gorgeous swoosh of light.

From our view point, this is likely to look like one very bright star and is apparently the closest they’ve been to one another in 2000 years.  It’s been suggested (and debated extensively) that a similar occurrence may have been what was called the “Star of Bethlehem” ,way back when the three wise men were trundling through the desert.

So… what does this mean for us?  Well Jupiter (Zeus) symbolises growth, higher learning, optimism, faith and wisdom, expanding whatever he comes into contact with. Venus (Aphrodite) is the planet of beauty, love, feminine energy, music, art, dance… and money!  When the two of them come together in LEO, it’s like super-charged abundant, creative, heart centred love energy. 

Why not let it help light our way towards your wildest imaginings?

What are you wildest imaginings?

If there was ever a time to wish upon a star, this is it… so… on the 30th June and/or 1st July, if the skies are clear, grab a blanket, wrap up warmly,  lie down on your back and gaze up into the western part of the heavens.  Let that beautiful, expansive energy seep into every cell, filling up your tanks and then allow yourself to be like a child and to wander and drift and dream and imagine and send out a wish from the middle of your heart.

If you know a bit about astrology, the house that contains 21 degrees Leo will be where you can expect some expansion!

When You Wish Upon A Star Lyrics

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do.

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Suddenly, it comes to you
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

When a star is born
They possess a gift or two.
One of them is this
They have the power to make a wish come true.

If you’re feeling generous, why not send out a wish or positive intention (or ten) for our planet and for humanity too… maybe keep those going for the whole month?

If you’d like to use this energy to start writing a new story for your life, come and join us for an Art & Soul workshop on 18 or 25 July. Details below.

A few of us lucky souls will be making the most of it at my Winter Art & Soul Retreat in the Midlands this weekend – this one’s fully booked, but if you’re keen to do it, let me know. I might just put together another one before the end of winter… just saying!

Before I go and star gaze, I need to just fill you in on the Full moon on July 2nd July, which is in patriarchal, traditional, pragmatic, ambitious Capricorn. She joins with intensely transformative Pluto and opposes the Sun and Mars in patriotic, motherly Cancer… a slightly tricky, rather potent configuration, to say the least.

There’s a good chance that  emotional issues could get stirred up with this lunation, especially around security, the home, the state of the nation/s. This is a time to be very authentic about how you’re feeling, but call upon the energy of Jupiter and Venus  to keep all your communication (with yourself and others)  firmly anchored in your heart. It’s a great opportunity to emotionally and physically clear out whatever is weighing you down and cluttering your life, so as to make  space for the new to enter.  Be kind to yourself and others, when and if things feel overwhelming. Breathe… soften…. Be… !





Lifelight Astrology Update – Full Moon 12th July

Full moon commitment

The full moon on Saturday 12th July is in no-nonsense, goal-driven, committed Capricorn, the sign of the trusty mountain goat. It feels as though the summit of our mountain is in sight, but there’s still a way to go.  Full moons are always intense and this one’s no exception as it activates the conflicted, agitated Grand Cross again, challenging us to grow, stretch and commit. However, the good news is that it also forms a graceful kite, assisting us with gentle healing, insight and flow.

After months of soul searching, there’s now a compelling need to finally stop ruminating and to actually make the changes we need to make, in order to become the authority in our lives. As we make our way up our own personal mountains, we need to check whether we’re actually on the right one and that we’ve selected the best path possible… or whether we need to consult with our internal GPS (our emotions) and reassess our route. Do we have the provisions we need to make it to our summit and if not, how can we go about procuring them?  Perhaps we need to dump some excess baggage so as to lighten our load or have a snooze under a tree, replenish our energy and gather our wits, before resuming our climb?

With the moon being opposite the sun in Cancer, the spotlight is on finding the balance between –  our private life and our work life;  being and doing; striving and nurturing; our home and our business; our feelings and our responsibilities; our child-like self and our adult self.

The time has come folks to seriously ask ourselves what our real bottom-line priorities are… and then commit to them absolutely.

I was speaking to a friend yesterday and we were saying how time is flying by, leaving us with the feeling that we haven’t actually achieved anything much by the end of each week. If you feel the same, then ask yourself what the most important thing is in your life… what is vital to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing?  And then strategically plan to make more time for it.

I think it’s about putting that priority before everything else. For example, if you really want to write, or paint, or meditate, or exercise, or eat well, or love more… maybe it’s about doing that before you do anything else, before you open up your laptop or turn on your phone – or schedule in a specific time in your day for it?  I read some very good advice the other day which suggested that we ask “ What’s the one part of your day that you’d like to change?” If we make a change in that one area, everything else starts to shift too.

Have a wonderful wintery weekend. Wrap up warm and nurture yourself

In light love and with commitment



Lifelight Astrology July 2014

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