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Damn you, Mercury!

Communication is a little bit disrupted right now. Mercury is in retrograde, so shit is all whack. The basic jist is that four times a year Mercury’s position is such that it appears to be moving backward from the Earth, or in “retrograde.” This means its influence is muted. Since Mercury controls communication, problems with communications arise during these times of year. Electonics are known to malfunction, there are misunderstandings and delays in travel. The general recommendation by those in the know is to avoid entering into new deals during Mercury in retrograde: don’t buy a new car or house, get married, sign a contract, etc. Mercury is in retrograde from October 21 – November 10, 2013.

The good news is that it is a great time to reflect; to re-evaluate life situations; to re-connect with old friends; to clean out the closet; and to detox.

For me, this one feels really intense. It feels like forward progress on my path is temporarily blocked. Like I’ve come to an impasse on a mountain hike and I have to take a minute to turn around and look backwards at where I have been in order to re-evaluate the best path to move forward.

It isn’t pretty. I’m seeing more clearly the way I am such an asshole sometimes. I seem to do all the things that I get mad at other people for doing. The trick, I think, is to have compassion for myself and forgive myself for being a douche. Because if I devolve into blaming and degrading myself, my ego is coming in through the back door; I’m doing to myself the things I am mad at myself for doing to others. If that makes any sense.

And what’s with all the parenting dilemmas? In addition to being an asshole in my everyday relationships, apparently I’m also fucking up my child. Just one example: He didn’t want to trick or treat for Halloween. He’s three and a half. He has no idea that trick or treating is even fun. He was too sick to do it last year, and the year before that he was too young. But I know its super fun, and I really wanted him to do it and have fun. So when he wouldn’t, I got so mad at him. I told him that Grammy and Grandma and Grandpa were going to be upset with him too.

And he remembered. He asked Grammy in earnest several days later if she was upset with him because he wouldn’t trick or treat. I felt like such a douchebag – trying to manipulate him with guilt. Why am I putting my wants and needs on my three-year old?

Shining a light on my asshole-douchbaggeryness is having the side effect of making me feel like I have less to offer. What could I possibly teach others, through my writing or through my yoga, when I still have so much to learn myself? Now I realize that isn’t entirely true. At the same time, I see how I’ve acted so high and mighty and spiritual at times, when in reality I still get trapped and ego-deluded, just as those I have blamed for my problems. The problem isn’t that THEY are all assholes and douchbags, the problem is that I wasn’t evolved enough to see my own asshole-douchbaggery; I couldn’t see my own ego traps.

Wayne Dyer says,

“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won’t succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.”

I believe that to be true. And I think its hard to see it when you are knee-deep in whatever the drama of the time happens to be.

So now I am having a yard sale. Basically I looked around my house and saw that I am living a yet another hypocrisy: I teach others to let go and that material things are meaningless yet my house is a borderline “Hoarders” episode. I have been holding on to so many things, in part because I didn’t want to face the sadness associated with purging. Going back through all my old stuff was hard. A lot of it belonged to my brother, my father, and my grandmother, all who died of cancer during my adult life. Going back through it felt heavy and yucky.

So energetically, I know this is symbolic; this purging and letting go of old things. And it is such a good time to do it; while Mercury is in retrograde and things naturally take a step backward. The new moon is today, the weather is beautiful, and it feels like a new beginning. In a short time, Mercury will leave retrograde, and all will feel better again. Before it gets bad again, before it gets better again. Are we starting to see a pattern, Pema Chodron? She says:

“We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart.”

Ta-ta for now. I’ll try to be better about keeping in touch. I am thinking you don’t mind reading despite all my faults and shortcomings. 

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