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Posted on August 1, 2019
How are you at learning? Are you hungry for new information, but you don’t always integrate and use it? Are you like my partner, who tells me his brain is full, so he’s not accepting anything new? Are you an “old dog” who bought the “no new tricks” lie?
Whatever we may think, learning is not optional, throughout life. If you are 92, sorry, you still have learning to do. If you’re 62, yup, more learning in store. If you’re 36, you’re not even close to done learning. 24 and just graduated college? You only wish you were done learning.
We do best when we have a safe space to learn. A lot of the responsibility for a safe space is completely up to us. And the biggest threat to that safe space is our own thoughts! Those nasty negative filters, some of which we don’t even recognize because they feel so much a part of us.
One of those filters is the “I’ve got to be good” voice, that voice that’s always grading us. The problem is, we have to go through “not good” to get to “good” at anything. The grading filter can encourage us to give up because “you’re just not good at this”. As if that were the permanent state of affairs.
As a species, we favour the worst case scenario. Back in the day (when I was a child and dinosaurs roamed the earth), if we weren’t good at a skill set – spear throwing or tree climbing or running fast, for example – being “not good” might very well have meant the difference between survival and being someone’s dinner. Very little of our lives is that way now, but our mind is still easily led down that path.
“If you don’t get good grades, you’ll never get into college and you’ll spend the rest of your life just scraping by while you work the night shift at 7-11.” Anyone remember a version of that one?
“If you don’t show the boss what you can do, you’ll get passed over for the new hires, who will eventually force you out and you’ll have to make do with a cardboard box under a bridge for the rest of your short and unpleasant life.” Is that part of your zeitgeist?
“If you’re not good socially, all the cool kids will laugh at you. You’ll be culturally ostracized. Even the dweebs won’t want to hang out with you, and you’ll die alone and forgotten.” Ummmm. (By the way, let’s hear it for the dweebs and weirdos and their endless surprises and creative moments.)
In our household, as a child, we had a 2 year commitment rule on anything we wanted to learn. That was about enough time to go through a whole bunch of troughs with some enlightenment moments and, if we were lucky, a couple of glittering successes. We learned that there were ups and downs in the learning process. We learned that we could go from absolutely, painfully, sucking at something to being not half bad with, at least, a limited skill set.
We also learned that “being good at” could have very little to do with why we would do something. It was more about becoming familiar with an aspect of ourselves than about getting a literal or metaphorical grade. Sometimes that aspect of ourselves was the realization that, hey, I really like doing this, even if I’m on the “failing grade scale”. (And who are these cosmic scale setters, anyway?)
As a yoga instructor, I never run out of opportunities to point out chances for my students to just notice what they’re doing, rather than waste time assessing based on expectations. And certainly not assessing based on comparisons with others in the room. A student who has just had an aha! moment in a posture that s/he’s not yet very “good” at is being brilliant at learning. That enlightenment moment can carry over into other postures or aspects in life, which is certainly exceptional learning.
Can you let go of your inner headmaster and just be aware while you’re learning, rather than try to judge and grade your standing? Can you stand by the part of yourself that’s struggling to understand and change? Can you minimize the impact of your judgmental self and create a safe space to continue the learning adventure?
You can, if you’ll let that be a learning adventure in itself.
Posted on January 17, 2018
The numerology for each year gives us some guidelines for what sort of energies will be productive or a priority during that year. But numerology is much deeper than using just one number; the many numbers that make up your chart, as well as the numbers of the country, state and city in which you live, all have an influence on how you’ll be able to interact with those energies. It’s rather like trying to live your life guided by the sun sign astrology feature in the newspaper.
That said, for those who know their chart, understanding the universal energies drawn from the calendar give a context for the more personal energies of the year. (And, of course, for those who don’t know their chart, guess who can familiarize you with yours?)
This year, 2018, sums to a visionary 11 year. Yes, we usually reduce numbers to a single digit. But when we have double digits, we have what are called Master numbers. They’re the numbers that put us in touch with spiritual lessons or requirements. 11 is more about us and the Universe/Divine/Cosmos/God/Pick the designation that works for you, than it is about us and the world around us. 11 asks us to open up in new ways and at new depths, to be receptive to the very personal voice of the Divine. Our actions, our words, our goals, can all become a channel for the Divine. We become a Divine messenger. In our relationship to the world around us, we become more aware of our true identity and more understanding and accepting of the identity of others. Our imagination is vivid and fruitful, pointing us toward applications for our dreams. If you’re seeking a new habit to cultivate, meditation or contemplation fits 11 energies well (if you’re already meditating, yay you!).
Depending on the numbers in your chart, and the depth and experience of your spiritual journey, you may find yourself caught in some of the 11 difficulties. Those who are predisposed, withdraw from the demands of the human journey, neglecting their lives to get lost in their dreams. Their spirituality is ungrounded, their ideals are removed from practical reality. Others have the language of spirituality and vision, but the motivation is for personal power or material gain. There’s no Divine content to their selfish aim for control. Some of us are so intensely sensitive, and lack the necessary spiritual preparation, that we find our nerves frazzled, sometimes to the point of dysfunction. Some will deny ideals altogether, pointing to the selective “realities” that have always been part of human habit. Because we’re looking at 11 in the Universal Year position, you’ll see these patterns of misuse of the 11 energy in very public, as well as private, arenas.
If you find yourself falling into one of these patterns, step the 11 energy down to the relationship 2. Focus on the beauty of meeting each other as different individuals. The power structures here are totally horizontal; there are no hierarchies. Each of us has our own Divine message to convey; each of our messages are integral to universal benefit. And, if the message is to help someone else, rock and roll with developing that relationship. Just don’t lose your sense of self in giving assistance; and definitely don’t make it about elevating yourself above whoever you’re helping.
The digits that make up 2018 will also play out in the background. 8 demands integrity, so yours will need to be impeccable. We’ll watch all sorts of integrity issues come up for reckoning. If your integrity is aligned with the Divine, you’ll find that 2018 can be a time of harvest, of successfully reaping what you’ve sown. The individual consciousness of the 1, the self-awareness and responsibility, will continue to be on the table (we’ve seen it since 2010). 0 is the “God” number, the number out of time, the number of that which is unexpected and out of “normal” control. These are the surprising synchronicities that offer confirmation or redirection. It offers opportunities that are well-aligned with the 11. If we’re all tuning in to the Cosmic channel, those “sledgehammer” moments that come when we’re not aligned with the Universe are less frequent. It’s clear we’ve been in the soup with that, and will continue to be throughout this century. Finally, the demands of the millennium – sensitivity to each other, learning to cooperate, learning to prioritize relationship – will unfold based on integrity, individuation and the unimaginable voice of the Divine. Without restricting your receptivity, listen with an ear to those elements, as you develop your 11-ness, alongside the rest of humanity.
Those who appreciate Tarot correspondences, look to either XI Justice or XI Strength (depending on the method you use). You will appreciate that VIII Justice/Strength will also be included as a supporting energy, along with I The Magician, 0 The Fool and II The High Priestess.
Use this context to thrive on the planet this year.