Of course you have heard the expression of comfort, “You are only human” I believe that is inaccurate. I think that we are both human and Divine. Conventional medicine insists upon a sharp boundary between the Body and the Soul, much like the constitutional division between Church and State. But cross culturally and from the beginning of time, healing the Spirit has been considered essential and inextricably linked to the healing of the body, and even the vehicle.
I encourage my patients to develop their relationship with Spirit. I often recommend Sonia Choquette’s book The Power of Your Spirit: A Guide to Joyful Living. She prescribes many beautiful simple practices which reliably cultivate the presence of Spirit in daily life. Choquette describes how many people today have lost their connection with Spirit, and consequently feel anxious, depressed, alienated, stuck and overwhelmed by human existence.
Spiritual rituals can foster a sense of meaning and purpose, fuel creativity and inspiration, and provide a capacity to weather change with greater grace and ease. Many people long for more equanimity, peace and contentment, but have trouble committing to the daily discipline that fosters those desired inner states. It’s called spiritual practice, because in fact, you do need to practice. Deeper connection requires commitment and regular discipline, and it is possible to become more skillful.
This is an auspicious period to commit to a regular spiritual practice. Every moment in time is characterized by particular astrological influences, which create a sort of prevailing weather pattern energetically. In 2016, one of the most powerful configurations is the relationship between the planets Neptune and Saturn.
The archetypes of Neptune and Saturn symbolize energies that in many respects are antithetical to one another. Neptune represents timelessness, oneness, compassion, mysticism. dreams, illusions, the immune system and addictions, while Saturn is linked with sober earthly realities; time and space, form and structure, the skeleton, aging and maturity, discipline, limitations and karmic consequences. This year these two planets are in dynamic tension with one another, inviting us to integrate their opposite vibrations. We can adaptively make use of both of their gifts to create daily habits and routines (Saturn) which support the inclusion of Spirit (Neptune) in our lives. A daily spiritual practice, specifically one which is uniquely meaningful to you, will contribute to your physical healing, as much as diet, probiotics, supplements, relaxation, exercise and sleep.
Astrological archetypes are always manifesting in the world around us. Below is a moving and brave video which reflects the marriage between Neptunian compassion and acceptance with Saturnian reality and form. Amy Pence Brown, body-positive activist and writer from Boise, Idaho, created her own piece of performance art to promote body acceptance, based upon a British video which went viral last August. Brown described the British video “Jae West sheds her clothing in London’s busy Picadilly Circus, armed with markers, a sign, and a blindfold, asking people to draw hearts on her body if they share her promotion of self-acceptance, after overcoming an eating disorder. She has now been interviewed extensively about the importance of the project and how terrifying and exhilarating standing alone half-nude was for her, and the outpouring of humanity that has followed it.”
Brown wondered how a similar act would be received in a much more conservative place like the Farmer’s Market in Boise, Idaho. Here is a video where Brown invites the townsfolk to accept her form as it is (Saturn) with compassion and love (Neptune).
In honor of the New Year, I would like to recommend the practice of Garuda Mudra to you, a simple yoga posture that is both anxiolytic and anti-depressant, and particularly effective in promoting self-acceptance. A mudra is a physical gesture, often of the hands, that has the capacity to shift consciousness, if done with intention and focus. It effects the energy flow of the body, and fosters physiological, psychological and spiritual health and balance. Garuda Mudra can promote a sense of safety, security, self-acceptance and inner freedom. It is done by hooking the thumbs and spreading the fingers like wings, with palms facing the heart. Feel the warmth of your chest and offer compassion to yourself. Do this when you feel unduly self-critical, afraid or down. Garuda Mudra is much better for you than benzodiazepines or SSRI’s. We can draw upon these ancient spiritual technologies to help us navigate 2016.
Blessings to all my readers for the New Year.