I went to bed last Friday evening with intense neck pain that felt like whiplash — I could barely look down — which seemed apropos based on what had happened the day before at work: I felt hit from behind. On Saturday morning, after some mental story-telling and processing, I began to see the bigger picture of the unexpected occurrence and to let the story go, as we say (more on letting go later). I focused on my well-being, instead. My nervous system began to regulate, and I even became inspired. (The story itself does not matter so I won’t go into it).
When the Full Moon illuminates Libra, on April 6th (12;34 am EST), it is an opportunity to integrate the qualms or struggles we have with “others,” which always point back to the struggles with self. In traditional Astrology, Libra rules marriages, significant relationships, as well as enemies. As April Elliot Kent puts it in her always insightful blog, enemies are people “whose interests conflict with yours.” The term enemy can make me shudder, so this simple and practical definition appeals to me. When you think of someone sabotaging or hurting you, it is certainly a daunting or threatening thought … but the deeper meaning, and why the word may hold more weight for some, is pointing to the enemy inside oneself.
Relationships, as I think most people would agree, can become a battleground for all our issues and hurts and, so, Libra, the sign of balance, harmony, and I’ll venture to say, integration, holds us accountable. How do we create balance and harmony in our relationships?
Have you ever been stuck in a relationship pattern or dead-end job, wondering how you got there and why you can’t move on when the person or situation is clearly not aiding in your growth and happiness? We draw into our lives people and situations who reflect how we feel about and treat ourselves. However cliché it may be, it is truth that if we don’t love ourselves, if we discard and abandon ourselves (a familiar behavior for those who grew up with unavailable people), we will draw in people and situations that do not value us.
How do we abandon ourselves? We do this in subtle ways, for example not saying what we really feel in the moment — pretending, or going along with others at the expense of our own truth. We may want to be agreeable in the name of getting along with others, or because we don’t want to ruffle feathers, but it winds up being phony, most importantly to ourselves. We abandon ourselves by not aligning our words and actions with our values, and by not being present for ourselves … by checking out. Libra is represented by the scales or the diplomat, and aims to create a balanced state between two sides, or two extremes, represented by Scorpio. It’s important and emotionally mature to hold more than one perspective, to understand that truth usually lies somewhere in the middle, or that people’s truths may differ.
If you have a tendency to self-sabotage then you might face in “the other” a person who attempts to sabotage you. I am definitely not saying to blame ourselves if we feel sabotaged or hurt by another (in general, the blame/shame game gets us nowhere); they may have done something unkind or untruthful and that is their load to carry. As they say in the 12-step programs, we can clean up our side of the street. We can only improve our relationships, and our lives, when we shine the light on the relationship we have with ourselves.
So how do you treat yourself, really? The habits that make up each day add up to how you treat and value yourself. What are you eating and drinking? Are you nourishing yourself? Are you getting outside and moving your body? Are you getting enough rest? Are you tending to your mind, body, and spirit? I know it’s easier said than done, and we all have busy lives, but what I am talking about here, more than getting a massage or eating a good meal, is how do you really feel about yourself and therefore treat yourself? A hint lies in the people and situations you surround yourself with.
We can start in subtle and simple ways to treat ourselves with respect. Take a moment to breathe before you respond to someone, and instead of automatically saying what you think they want to hear, which so many of us, especially women, have been conditioned to do, feel your center and express what is true and real for you in that moment (with tact and kindness, of course). Relationships are about compromise but if a situation doesn’t feel right and brings you out of balance, honor your needs and change it up. And, if there are relationships that are dragging you down and making it difficult to have a fulfilling life, it may be time to let them go: again, easier said then done; believe me, I know. Read more, if so inclined, about my steps in the ubiquitous yet elusive concept of Letting Go, on my Instagram account: @The.Letting.Go.Project.
In order for there to be the balance and harmony in our relationships (and life) that Libra craves, we must first accept and honor ourselves.
Celebrate and honor this full moon with yoga or any type of meditative body movement that helps you create balance in your mind and body, so that you can then extend that to your relationships. During the Libra Full Moon, you may want to incorporate into your practice stretches for the low back, as well as balancing postures. Libra rules the low back and kidneys, and it’s element is Air. When I think of the air element, balancing postures come to mind. I love to link together balancing postures into a flow and that is, in fact, one of my favorite ways to practice yoga. (Speaking of: I am teaching online, on Wednesdays, morning at 10:30 am a 30-minute Move Gracefully Through the Transitions Flow.)
The element of the full moon phase is Fire, so you may also have some steam to blow off; “breath of fire” is good for this and helps you to cleanse.
I will also be posting short 15 minute new and full moon yoga practices on my Youtube channel. Until then … Happy Full Moon. If you have the opportunity, take some time outside with the moon to receive her wisdom and magic.
May we honor and value ourselves and all beings under the light of the Libra moon.