This week I observed my body.
Due to a mixture of personal circumstances, the cosmic phases of the moon and planets, certain energies coming into my realm and playing with my own energy, I have endured feeling high-strung, moody, emotional and on edge for the past few weeks. So I became aware of my body’s reactions to stress & anxiety:
First I got a bad case of tonsillitis.
Next I had trouble sleeping and became tired and irritable.
Then my not-so-wise wisdom teeth starting to rear their ugly heads.
And lastly, I felt tightness around my heart-space and had trouble catching my breath.
Now. I know my body so well these days, that I know these are all physical tell tale signs I am going through some shifts (or just getting super run down and my body is screaming ‘slow the F down!’). Begrudgingly, over the years I have accepted that I am one of those people who needs a solid 8 hours of beauty sleep every night to function, otherwise I am a disheveled mess the next day and can hardly string a sentence. I would love to chuck a Miley Cyrus and survive off 2 hours sleep over the entire weekend – gosh I could get SO much done – but I am afraid I would end up in hospital or dead! Of course in my early 20s I attempted to pull benders like this, however all the above sickness traits would sneak up on me, cripple my body and stop me in my partying tracks. So yes, these days I am a nanna…and I love it!
So, whether or not you’re an astrology buff or not, all planets go retrograde, but Mercury’s journey seems to impact people much more than any other. And when Mercury goes retrograde, basically all things communication, education, clear thinking, intelligence, truth, transportation and travel get all muddled up go in a backward motion.
‘Fuck’, I thought to myself this past week, ‘This Mercury Retrograde is really retrograding with my head!’ I was falling apart at the seams and getting so frustrated at the smallest things. More than anything, I was feeling this black, icky anxiety and fear consuming my entire mind and body.
My pretty little monkey-mind was also acting up. She was sporadic, scatter-brained, constantly searching, racing and seeking…but getting no where. It was like nothing was good enough! Where I was in the moment, was not good enough. I had to be somewhere else all the time. I needed to be doing bigger and better things.
I was totally not present.
I was totally wishing away the precious time that is NOW.
I was wanting to be somewhere else.
I was consumed by ‘things I need to do!’
I felt overwhelmed, under-productive, and procrastinating everything important to me.
I knew I had a lot of stuff to do…but I literally couldn’t do anything.
I was riddled with anxiety.
In Australia, anxiety is common – one in six people aged 16 to 24 experience anxiety in any 12-month period (around one in 10 males, and one in five females). On average one in three women and one in five men will have anxiety in their lifetime.
I’m not even big into astrology, but I realised that a lot of people around me where experiencing similar things to me. That is, feeling a lot of anxiety, throwing tantrums, scared and fearful of the future, unproductive, treading water, feeling like they’re getting no where, unable to handle anything etc. Then I read a few articles: read here about how to survive Mercury Retrograde and here for the DL on what November holds and effect of Scorpio Eclipse. I also went along to Sherridan Boyle’s Shamanic Drum Healing Journey (basically just lying in savasana for two hours being audibly aroused by drums and crystal bowls, white sage, crystals and singing) on Sunday afternoon I realised it’s not just me! Horray!! I am not a freak!
7 Tips to Combating Anxiety
This means something different for everyone and evokes different emotions and memories. As adults, we forget to play. We grow up and think we need to be sensible all the time. So I suggest sitting with the word for a few minutes and think about what emerges for you? What images flood to your mind when you think of the word play? Make it specific to you…how did you used to play as a kid? What did you enjoy doing? Playing tag with friends, barbie dolls, trucks, motorbikes, trampoline, playing lego, building cubby houses, climbing trees, going on a swing, McDonald’s playground, hidey-go-seek etc. What’s your idea of pure, innocent fun? Maybe as an adult, playing holds a different meaning…maybe sports, or sexual connotations. Whatever it is…delve into play. Laugh, have fun and be present in the moment. Enjoy some guilt-free, genuine, good ol’ play.
2) self pleasure
This might make a few people cringe, laugh, scough, or blush, but masturbation is a great, healthy & fun way to release tension, stress and anxiety. Orgasming or ejaculating can release a build-up of energy and help you get some much needed sleep if that’s what your body is craving. Also learning more about your genitals, what turns you on, and experimenting will create a healthier, sassier, more exciting sex life with your partner now or down the track, if you’re single. Think of it more as a total, all encompassing self-love practice, rather than something taboo. When you’re touching yourself…send yourself love, warmth and good thoughts. Go on…try it! When you’re cumming, the last thing you’re thinking about it ‘OMG I need to wash my car or shit, what am I going to wear later’. Unless you are, then you need to learn to let go……
When you’re feeling frustrated or annoyed, anxious or depressed, head on over to a yoga class in your local area and take it out on the mat. Take everything you go into class, don’t leave anything at the door. Deal with it in your practice. Work through it. Breathe through it. Expel it out of your body and mind. Remember you do not have to be a pro to go to yoga! It has less to do with how flexible you are and more to do with stilling the mind, relaxing that monkey-mind. If you’re extra stressed or anxious, try Bikram Yoga or Power Yoga in a hot room. The more you sweat, the more you release and let go of the body’s toxins…and your mind’s toxins. You will feel light and fluffy when you leave the room!
4) tech-free day
Put the lap top away. Switch off the phone. Hide your mini i-pad. Get the hell off all forms of social media!! So many people suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) these days and live online day in day out, that they don’t actually LIVE in the moment and enjoy the real life they have. Spend a day without technology and go somewhere green or blue (mountains or beach). Get some fresh air. Go for a walk or a run. Go solo, get some quality ‘me-time’. If you’re temped to check Facebook or emails, then give yourself a reward at the end of the day if you succeed. Yes, sad but true..
5) go fiction
Read a book which is not educational, a biography, trashy mags or self-helpy. By picking up a book like Harry Potter, Twilight, Lord of the Rings or a good solid romance novel you can transport out of reality for a while and just enjoy a good story. Instead of constantly trying to improve yourself, simply enjoy yourself. If you’re not a reader, then watch a funny film or TV series. Fuck non-fiction for a while! I have read self-help books for as long as I can remember, constantly wanting to learn more and be the best I can be. And I have only just realised that the world is flooded with this material now…and it all gets a bit too overwhelming, so it’s important to revert back to your inner child and explore story-telling again!
This can fall under praying, kirtan chanting, chakra cleansing, or just resting your eyes closed; anything that is stilling the mind and calming the nervous system. Whatever works for you. By spending time meditating or focusing on what you’re grateful for, you can really become aware of the here and now and just be. Anxiety and fear will fall away when you feel deeply into how you are feeling within your body and energy centers. Instead of burying everything under the metaphorical rug, try meditating on it, breathing into it. It will fall away and you will come back into alignment with your true-self.
7) ask yourself: ‘wha-chu-need?’
At the recent Radical Self Love party I attended in Brisbane, Julie Parker made a fantastic yet simple point of asking yourself – WHAT DO YOU NEED RIGHT NOW!? Too much emphasis is placed on what to do next or tomorrow, or next month or 10 years down the track. Simply, ask yourself what do you need right now, which will make you feel better?… is it a sleep? Some healthy food? A walk? To clean your room? Draw/paint? Talk to your Dad on the phone? Repair on old friendship which has been playing on your mind? Really ask yourself – out loud – what do you need?
Remember you are totally not alone if you do suffer anxiety, and it’s not always to do with personal circumstances. It can be effected by your monthly cycle, the planets/eclipses/moon phases, where you’re at in career/studies, or even people intruding your energy sphere. Fear not as we are coming out of Mercury Retrograde now….and it’s coming to the silly season! Phew!