Astrology, Kundalini Yoga

Deep Rest Before a New Beginning

Astrology with Guru RattanaScorpio and Pluto themes will continue to get our attention as we approach and experience 2020, when three rare and major planetary conjunctions inaugurate new beginnings in our personal and collective lives.

Transitions – Recognize Death and Rebirth

The Scorpio and Pluto themes of death and rebirth involve the most dramatic and life-changing transitions. Each of us in our own way are recognizing that we are in the midst of a major life transition. What worked in the past may not work now. What was effective and appropriate for other stages of our life may now be ineffective and inappropriate for dealing with the challenges of our current transitions.

November 20 – Mercury Goes Direct

at 11:12 AM PST (19:12 GMT).

November 20 Mercury completes its retrograde period (at 12 degrees Scorpio) which began on October 31 (at 28º Scorpio). Mercury is in Scorpio from October 3 through December 8.

Scorpio Hides and Reveals What Is Hidden

The Sun in Scorpio (October 23 – November 21) brings up deep issues related to unexpressed feelings, motivations, and power.

As the second water sign, Scorpio lives in the deep waters of the emotions, where traumas fester, hidden truths and agendas are stored, and authentic power is accessed. Scorpio is famous for its silence and keeping information and feelings to itself. What may appear secretive and self-protective can also reflect an attempt to go deep enough to access and feel what is transpiring deep within our subconscious.

Scorpio’s polarity pair Taurus seeks to identify what matters most. Scorpio seeks to uncover motivations. What drives our passions? What determines our projections? What do we desire and what do we fear?

Scorpio is one of the four fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Aquarius). The ‘Fixed’ quality comes with the gifts of perseverance and determination to keep going. But fixed can also feel stuck, giving rise to a feeling of powerless related to our inability to control what is happening and to influence positive outcomes.

The Scorpio in all of us needs to learn that when connections dry up, efforts cease to yield results, and workable possibilities evaporate, it is time to recognize the facts, back off, let go, and move on. This scenario is very relevant at this time. Endings inevitably precede beginnings.

Less Light and Energy AND the Holidays

In the northern hemisphere, the days are getting shorter as we approach winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. With the holidays coming, this is a time of the year where many typically feel over-extended, exhausted, and depressed. And this is a time that many try to cover up and suppress what they are really feeling. We believe that we can’t (or shouldn’t) be honest about how we feel. But deep honesty (at least with ourselves!) is what is needed to swim through these turbulent times.

Many Forms of Depression

There are many forms of depression, some of the most serious involve neuro-chemical imbalances that require medical treatment. However, what we look at here is a mental, emotional, and physical state caused by (1) physical exhaustion, (2) being overwhelmed with life’s challenges, (3) an inner emptiness that has no spiritual connection to fill the void, and (4) a lack of sense of soul self.

It is not uncommon, and a part of the human condition, to experience a sense of being lost that is accompanied with sadness, melancholy, ennui, and mixed with anxiety, guilt, confusion, exhaustion, and numbness all at the same time.

There is a negative stigma attached to all of the above and to the designation of depression as a mental illness. We are supposed to be happy, grateful, and work hard – right? What if we are unhappy, angry, and tired? Many suffer in isolation, ashamed that they don’t ‘measure up. They try to convince themselves, or at least create a facade and live the lie, “I’m fine.”
Medicating, drinking, or doping away these ‘symptoms’ only hides their deep rooted origins. Analysis can help us understand, but it can also keep us trapped in our thinking mind and attached to our interpretations and stories about our wounding.

Depression Is a Call from the Soul

Depression can be a plea from our body to slow down, rest, and nurture our physical vessel.

Depression is also a call of the soul

(1) to search for deeper meaning

(2) to cultivate an authentic connection with a higher power

(3) to wake up to what is hidden beneath a ‘nice’ facade

(4) to deeply feel and listen so we can make sense of our feelings as a part of a journey to deeper truth and awakening

(5) to find deeper meaning and purpose, and

(6) to go deep enough to find (and plant) the seeds of a new phase of our life.

A Benefic Approach to Transitions

There is a serious need now to change and optimize how we approach transitional periods that may give rise to various forms of anxiety and depression. These interlude periods are purposeful and can be used to find what needs (1) to be nurtured by kindness and self-love, (2) to be recognized instead of ignored and denied, and (3) to be loved instead of shamed or feared.

We can use this time of transition as

* A built-in ‘rebooting’ phase that moves us from one phase in our lives to another and a catalyst for transformation.

* A chance to detox from our perceptions of how life ‘should be.’

* A period to die to what is no longer relevant. Rejuvenation happens when we let go of the false and make way for what is now true for ourselves and our current life.

* A sacred time to self-evaluate, to find meaning, and re-orient ourselves. We can pay attention to the longing inside that is trying to get our attention and let it lead our way.

‘Shoulds’ Creates Exhaustion

We can be exhausted by too much work and too many responsibilities. Mentally and emotionally we also create exhaustion with negative interpretations and feelings about our situation. A lot of our energy is consumed by the stress of maintaining a facade that ‘everything is ok.’ and by constantly nagging on ourselves with ‘should’ thinking.

‘Should’ self-talk is a form of self-shaming and abuse that chains us to past disappointments, misinterpretations, and unrealistic expectations. We are not motivated or inspired by ‘should.’ We are weighted down by the pressure of unreality and prevented from living in the present moment. Follow your ‘should’ thoughts to uncover the ‘false story’ that is weighing you down.

We also need to look at why are we tired when we wake up in the morning. Mental and emotional turmoil grate on us while we are sleeping. There is a lot of talk now about the importance of enough quality sleep as a foundation for good health. I was talking with a friend the other day and he remarked that he couldn’t remember the last time either he or his wife were sick. Then he added, ‘We always get a lot of sleep. (8-9 hours per night is their winning formula.)

Deepening Our Identity

It is part of the progression of human life, that our sense of ‘self’ gradually expands and deepens as we get older. The call to authenticity can be especially challenging,

(1) if we have built our identity upon what others and society think we should do/be,

(2) if we have been trying to live up to unrealistic expectations that we set for ourselves, and

(3) if we have the unhealthy habit of comparing ourselves to others and concluding that we aren’t good enough.

When our self concept has been primarily defined by what we do or upon our relationship with partners, we can feel ‘lost’ when what we ‘do’ and our relationships change. Part of becoming an adult is about identifying ourselves independent of external definitions. Life presents us with opportunities to override superficial ideas, allowing us to go deeper and to add other dimensions to our self-knowing.

Clearing the Past – Crash and Burn the Baggage.

Giving birth to a new life can be uncomfortable. We can feel the curtain rising to a new phase of our life, and not know how to end the old scene. This is because moving on requires dealing with our past. Reconciliation requires our willingness and ability to release past hurts and to let go of our story/interpretation of past events. To truly embrace something new, we need an inner and outer space that supports moving forward, without dragging along past pain, disappointments, and bitterness.

We may need time to grieve things in our past, not to indulge in self-pity, but to be honest with ourselves. We don’t deny or cover up our feelings. Acceptance, not self-denial is our goal. But we do have to quit whining about our wounds, learn what they have to teach us, and take steps into adulthood.

Transitions and letting go are about all types of cleansing. We have to be willing to let go of what no longer serves us –that which has supported conflict, victimhood, and powerlessness. Sometimes we have to let go of what we love — friends move away, loved ones die, or we have to move out of a special home and environment.

Resolution – Reframe Your Story

For most of us, it is not easy to simply say good bye, delete old programming, and replace previous perceptions and preferences. Our mother used to tell us kids, ‘Drop it!” Good idea, but we may need a bit more to get to that point.

To find peace with ourselves and our life, that which has been hidden in our subconscious that creates conflict and pain must be brought to light and dealt with.

It helps to step out of our current situation so we can see the bigger picture. Detaching for a moment helps us put things into perspective. We can remind ourselves that whatever it took, it got us to where we are today. We can give ourselves credit for persistence, endurance, and courage.

Raise Your Frequency

The bottom line essence of spiritual teachings is to elevate ourselves out of the lower frequencies of fear that create pain and suffering and sustain conflict, separation, and loneliness. Spiritual practices are about shifting from fear to love frequencies. In the higher frequencies we feel love; we see from a different perspective; and we naturally compute compassion for ourselves and others.

All parts of our physical, mental, emotional, and energetic make up are involved in our awakening process because they each play of role in determining and filtering our perception and experience of reality.

Raising our frequency makes it possible to shift our focus from what annoys us to the beauty and love that feed our heart. In our neutral mind and heart, we can pay attention to what makes us feel good and to what gives us deep pleasure. We can make choices that nurture our well-being.

Our energetic vibration is the bottom line factor that determines how we experience and deal with our personal transition ad life in general. In our neutral mind and heart, we can be present to what’s happening. We can expand our mind to allow something new. We can calm our emotions to be willing and able to adapt to an unexplored future.

Changing our reality and making quantum shifts in our lives involves an internal transformation, which happens not by convincing ourselves of a better idea, but through shifts in perception available in the dimension of love. When we can look through the eyes of Spirit and our soul, what we see as important, valuable, and significant distinguishes itself from what is unimportant, irrelevant, and destructive. The truth of who we are and what we value is revealed to us.

Alone Time to Be Available

To self-focus we need to manage distractions. So much is going on in our lives and in the external world. Many situations demand attention and need taking care of. But our inner world seriously needs attention too. It is in fact crying for our attention.

Too much thinking consumes our mental space and our emotional and physical energy. We need more time to simply feel and connect with the energies moving through us. We need to empty our inner space and listen to the silence in the void. We need to train ourselves to pay attention to nothing but our breath and how it feels in our body. Clues and guidance appear when they do, often later when we least expect it. Be OK with not knowing, but stay present and awake.

Common Themes of Transitions

There are many factors of our current situations that contribute to and exacerbate overwhelm, depression, and burnout. We can make excuses, justify our situations, and opt for denial, AND we can also seek to understand why we feel the way we feel. Scorpio, winter and diminishing sunlight, and a major unidentified transition to a new phase in our lives share some common themes.

(1) We are in a phase of letting go of the old and preparing for something new that we cannot yet define.

(2) Healing, reconciling, and releasing the past are necessary prerequisites for renewal and regeneration.

(3) We are also in the deep phases of a spiritual awakening, which requires alone, quiet time.

(4) And there is another common thread — Maybe we just need to deeply rest and relax into the unfoldment of everyday activities and be present to what is being birthed!

Deep Rest

It has been pointed out that when we say the word depressed, we can hear the words Deep Rest.*

In deep rest we find deep relief. There is space and willingness for the new to grow. We don’t have to know exactly what; we can’t. What is important is giving permission for our future to grow with revitalized roots. In deep rest we feel free to explore new possibilities and creations, fashioned and molded by a more awakened and compassionate self.

Radical Transformation

We live in a greatly accelerated time of change that challenges us to incorporate radically different views of ourselves, each other, and the world we live in. But we can’t just ‘think’ our way through this process. The transformation required involves a quantum shift in consciousness, which happens only as we move from

(1) perceiving duality to witnessing unity and oneness

(2) feeling alone and separate to realizing connection with all beings and dimensions of reality

(3) being consumed by inner conflict to experiencing inner peace.

Consciousness Illumines Our Way Through

“Trans-” means “to go through.” Transitions, transformation, transcendence, and transits all stem from the root concept to change and evolve. Planetary transits are messengers of change.

How do we go through transitions? It depends upon lens through which we observe our lives. Do we look through drama and victimhood glasses or through lens of neutral clarity that facilitate compassion and forgiveness? The most penetrating and honest glasses are ground with consciousness — a spotlight that sheds light on the past and illumines our way forward. Follow a deep longing to your own truth.

Relax, Feel, Listen, Pay Attention

I know everyone wants to know, what meditation we should do. The mantra and pranayama meditations given to us by Yogi Bhajan are designed to awaken consciousness. They all work and you can choose which ones create the most impact for you. I find the Heart Shield Meditation below (taken from my book – Transitions to a Heart Centered World) very effective in creating a space where I feel the powerful protection of my heart.

Whatever meditation you choose to do, allow time before and after to feel the energies in your body. Focus on the stillness in your inner space and listen to the silence in the void. Train yourself to pay attention to your breath and how it feels in our body. Rest in mindful presence and stay awake. Let your heart (not your thinking) guide you. The more time you allocate to the above, the deeper you will go and the more transformation you will experience.

Want transformation and inner peace, relax, feel, listen, and pay attention now.

Heart Shield Meditation

Sit in Easy Pose with a straight spine. Place right hand in active Gyan Mudra (index finger curled under the thumb, the other fingers straight and joined), wrist resting on the right knee. Left arm is bent and relaxed, left hand about 6″ from heart center with palm facing the body, thumb and fingers straight, tense, and joined. Concentrate on the hand as a shield to the heart. For the magnetic field to correspond, the “antennae” must be tense.

Inhale deeply and exhale completely. Repeat twice more. Then inhale and begin chanting the mantra with the melody below. You can also chant in a monotone.

SAT NAARAYAN WHA-HAY GUROO        Sat Narayan: True Sustainer

HAREE NAARAYAN SAT NAAM        Wahe Guru: Indescribable Wisdom

SAT NAARAYAN WHA-HAY GUROO        Hari Narayan: Creative Sustenance

HAREE NAARAYAN SAT NAAM        Sat Nam: True Identity

Transitions to a Heart Centered World - 2nd EditionContinue for 3, 5, or 7 minutes, but don’t overdo it. If you are around other people, you may just whisper it.

COMMENTS: When you feel very tired and feel nothing is coming out, this is a tool. But don’t overdo it! I have given you something which is very sacred and very secret. Over-drinking nectar can sometimes give a bad belly. So just do it three to seven minutes in absolute calmness. As you concentrate on the shield of the hand, you will feel the heat of powerful energy going through the hand to the heart center. (Concentrating on the head is incorrect.)

References and Footnotes

Attributed to Jeff Foster, Two Hearts Counseling – Deep Rest: Exploring a Different Perspective on Depression.

Meditation from Transitions to a Heart-Centered World, by Guru Rattana, Ph.D., p. 147 Available in printed and e-book formats.