Mindful Change for the New Year

For the week of December 30, 2009-January 5, 2010.

There’s a lot to be “sorted” in 2010, so it’s best to spend the final moments of 2009 contemplating how you might want to orient yourself for what lies ahead. Conscious awareness would be a good place to start, particularly in making a commitment to the type of mindfulness that also includes integrating your highest ideals with everyday choices. Put simply: If you want peace, live a peaceful life. And if you want to put an end to the violence of poverty, find a way to work for everyone’s prosperity, not just your own. Another appropriate intention to set for 2010 would be coming to terms with the interconnectedness of life and how individual actions, reactions, and responses create the Zeitgeist; as many of us know, feelings are contagious, as are ideas and ideals. Co-creation is not simply a matter of visualization; it’s about feeling the power and the truth of transformation, even when transformation seems impossible or improbable. So don’t be afraid to hope, even if hope feels frail or fragile.

Part of the shadow work of 2010 is figuring out how to deal with disappointment when change does not magically occur. Just because manifestation isn’t instantaneous, that doesn’t mean efforts are futile. Before you indulge in the angst of futility, be aware that its toxicity will eventually incapacitate the heart and turn it bitter. Better to frame futility as a tool for growth, and use it to open places in the heart that may have become atrophied or frozen but have been lying dormant, waiting for this moment to arise.

This year ends and 2010 begins with Mercury and Mars Retrograde. Yes, it is a drag when both of the primary planetary wheels that drive the day-to-day mechanics of daily life move in reverse. But this is also an opportunity to slow down the pace of regular routines to see what could use a little “grease.” Mercury Retrograde is best understood as a time when alls sorts of delays interfere communication efforts and travel plans. But it is also traditionally a time to review what is already in motion, which means it is best spent examining the details of life with an eye toward what would benefit from a correction or adjustment. Mars Retrograde is a little trickier, given that Mars is a forward-moving force not given to backward glances. Yet, this Mars Retrograde is in Leo, a fiery force of its own, and that fire and passion is sure to burn off some of the frustration typically associated with retrogrades in general. Mercury is retrograde until January 15; Mars is retrograde until March 10. And more details about both retrogrades will be included in future columns.

We also end 2009 with a lunar eclipse on the afternoon of December 31, and because lunar eclipses symbolize conscious concerns overriding unconscious drives, you may find yourself toasting to a new year that’s more interested in results than theories. But try not to let pragmatism overwhelm idealism — we are going to need strong, positive visions born of the best of us to co-create a future that works well for all of us.

If you know your Ascendant and/or your Moon sign, read that, too.

ARIES Use the double retrograde to organize and then reorganize every detail of your life. Believe me, you will not be bored by the process. Quite the contrary; you will be invigorated.

TAURUS Focus on knowing what activities serve your growth and then eliminating what doesn’t work. This isn’t about abrupt disconnections — it’s about being able to identify and transform negative patterns.

GEMINI While the old adage “adversity grows the soul” may sound glib, it does express a profound truth, especially if your intention is to transform an old, problematic pattern.

CANCER You’re likely to be revisiting persistent relationship issues that have previously eluded resolution. Good. This is another opportunity to approach the situation from a new positive perspective.

LEO Think about how you want to redefine yourself. Pay particular attention to issues of leadership, loyalty, and generosity, three leonine themes always in need of attention, renovation, and recalibration.

VIRGO Compulsively mulling over the same situation isn’t going to “fix” it. So if you haven’t learned to surrender what you can’t control, this would be an opportune moment to embrace the lesson of letting go.

LIBRA You are already wearing your heart on your sleeve, so rather than trying to hide your feelings, own them. And as you do, try to remember that others are just as entitled to deep, passionate intensities.

SCORPIO If you’re willing to consider the possibility of restructuring certain daily routines, you’ll awaken the potential to actually make changes you’ve been pondering for a while. Be disciplined as you proceed, but also be bold.

SAGITTARIUS Yes, it is possible to say, “It’s all about money.” But it is also possible to frame your current situation as an opportunity to explore your ultimate worth, something that cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

CAPRICORN You, too, are going through a redefinition (read Leo, above), but rather than focusing on the same issues as your fiery counterpart, your makeover is focused on expressing your creativity.

AQUARIUS As relationships become a major focus, try not to jump to conclusions too quickly. Give this phase a chance to unfold in its own time and you will make one important discovery after another.

PISCES It is not advisable to feel responsible for everyone and everything. So take a deep breath, step back, and make time to reconsider what and whom you want to carry into the future.


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