Welcome to this illumination, and this soulful Aquarian query:
☀️ How can you be more outrageously, exceedingly YOU, regardless of what anyone else thinks?! ☀️⠀
Full Moon: Dancing Leo & Aquarius
The Full Moon was exact on:
Thursday 15th August, 7.29am (CDT)
Thursday 15th August, 1.29pm (BST)
Thursday 15th August, 10.29pm (AEST)
Almost two weeks ago, we started a brand new lunar cycle, under fiery Leonine energy, with its general call to:
Take up Space
Shine & Be Seen
Be Courageous in Living your Truth
And the wheel turns, and here we are, at the airy Full Moon in Aquarius, with its general call to:
Invest a New Way
Choose the Path Less Travelled
Be Courageous in Living your Truth
Leo and Aquarius lie opposite each other in the zodiac wheel, providing two opposing perspectives on the same terrain: what is our relationship to Others? And how do we live our loyalty to the New?
Leo is the Performer, the Ringmistress. And like any good actor, Leo knows that art and artful living needs drama, needs something that sets it apart from everything else on offer. Something novel. A fresh perspective.
Aquarius is the Reformer, the Inventor, and likewise feels this need for the new deeply. The future whispers in her ears all the time, the path of possibility shimmers ahead like a mirage, tenuous and alive.
Leo leads others into something nourishingly new and creative, and is rewarded with accolade. The engagement of others is a validation.
Aquarius walks boldly into the unknown, regardless of whether anyone follows. The judgment and disdain of others is a validation.
The point is, both have a point! Both perspectives are true and valuable.
Here we are at this familiar Full Moon reminder:
Each of us is a marriage of opposites. How do we live the whole?
Being the Weakest Link
A few days ago I was in an internal headbutt moment, bemoaning the lack of teamwork that is, at times, my experience of life with my husband. Nothing new there. I framed it like this:
“We’ve never been about the feel-good, sad but true. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of feel-good, but it comes second, or as the fruit of, fierce illumination.
Fierce and tender love, written into our wedding day liturgy. It was all there, if I’d had ears to hear…
Licking some tender places, today. Sad to not be able to live the power of shared vision or encouraging team effort. That’s not what we do.
And I really feel quite sad about that. Feels like a lost opportunity for this lifetime.
But all the same I rest, relatively at peace, in a reliable and abundant grace that keeps us together, iron sharpening iron, perhaps for some purpose, who can say?”
✾ Resourcing the slowest parts of ourselves
The day after writing that, we had time in the car together, rebuilding empathy and connection. Talked of an idea I’d come across in a book, 📘 Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
The idea is that, if we know where we are aiming to get to – our desired outcome – the fastest way to get there is to resource our slowest, weakest parts.
We can attempt to rush towards our goal, but truly we can only move as fast as the slowest parts of ourselves.
I think we can recognise this as common sense. If we go on a bushwalk with a bunch of friends, the walk isn’t done, and we can’t go home, until the slowest person finishes.
The possibility here is that we identify our biggest obstacles which are holding us back from moving towards our desired outcome in good time, and nourish/encourage/equip/build up those parts of ourselves!
I love it, makes so much sense! And it feels radically new, somehow this month (even though you could say I have been journeying this path of resourcing my most tender parts for twelve years!).
✾ Aha moment!
What was interesting was that my partner had an instant emotional response to this approach, along the lines of: the weakest link doesn’t deserve support and resourcing.
Wow! Can you relate?
I can, in the sense of how hard it can be to be empathetic when you’re feeling held back by someone or something. Or by oneself.
We inherit mindsets of judgment and criticism, it can be so hard to be gentle and patient with ourselves.
This conversation was also an aha moment! for me, cos in a relationship of two, where the other person is highly invested in not being the weakest link, that only leaves me to fill those shoes.
It explained a lot, especially the periodic lack of teamwork and team spirit.
And it brings me right back to this Full Moon energy, this Leo-Aquarius energy – this dance of opposites.
Often, we judge that which is different from us. We deem difference as weak.
We deem the unintegrated, orphaned parts of ourselves as weak, because they essentially oppose our self-image. We push them away, so our ego can remain intact.
And invariably we project these orphaned parts, this difference and weakness, onto those around us.
Relationship as a Sacred Vessel of Transformation
Yesterday, Matt Licata’s words dropped in amongst these personal musings, in a piece called ‘The Temple of Relationship:’
“It is no secret that, for many, intimate relationship is one of the great amplifiers of the unlived life. We can count on our partners and close friends to relentlessly illuminate everything that remains unresolved within us. Not because they have some agenda to do so, but simply by the nature of the vessel that forms when we allow another to truly matter…
“There is nothing like a close relationship to illuminate the orphaned emotions, beliefs, and vulnerable parts of ourselves that have lost their way in the tangle of somatic and psychic pathways. It can be a revelation to see how we attract and are attracted to those aspects and qualities in the other that we have disowned in ourselves.
“It can feel a bit achy and agonizing to realize that the beloved, in whatever form he or she may take, seems to have extraordinary powers to open the raw, tender, and naked dimensions of our being. But it is a sacred ache, oriented to the mystery.
“May we be kind to our partners in response to the inevitable disturbance that will arise as we make this journey together. Learning how to transmute the energy of conflict by way of skillful means and an open heart is essential and a secret doorway into the evolutionary potential that relationship offers.
“The practice of rupture and repair is a lost art in our world. Through the reparation of neural pathways and planting seeds of wisdom and compassion, it reveals that relationships of vast depth and meaning are not free of conflict, but those where working through conflict is embraced as path, as unique and powerful temples of purification, love, and healing.”
(And you can sign up for Matt’s tender emails here.)
Relationship as a Spiritual Path
This morning, that recollection of ‘fierce and tender love’ caused me to pull up our wedding ceremony booklet. I immersed myself in #throwbackthursday…!
Truly, that statement was mentioned more than ten times throughout the afternoon! It was a most powerful and accurate prayer to call in!
Fierce and tender love! For better or worse! Til death do us part!
On our tenth wedding anniversary, we attempted to modify the prayer to ‘open and intentional’ but honestly that was never as memorable! (However, we have tried to live that one too!)
These are words taken from the ceremony, spoken by our ‘marriage solemniser’ Nathan Nettleton. We have no excuse for not having at least ‘heard’ what we were getting in for, if not digesting and understanding it…😊
I remain heartened to this day at this idea that marriage and monastic life are kindred paths to spiritual transformation, both requiring incredible rigour, discipline and grace…
(Bec is, of course, me, back before I was Grace!)
“There is something that makes a marriage very different from other friendships though. Unlike ordinary friendships, marriage is bound by vows which are radically exclusive, and which are made to hold firm, no matter what the future may hold, until the couple is parted by death.
“Now by all the standards of the culture around us this is simply an outrageous nonsense. In a consumerist disposable society, it is considered at least weird and probably complete lunacy to choose one thing from an endless range of available options, and lock yourself in to sticking with that one choice, to the exclusion of all others, for life.
“But that is exactly what we are here to witness Gord and Bec doing today. Everyone here who has been married for more than a few years knows that there will be plenty of days ahead on which either Bec or Gord will be thinking, “I don’t think I made the best possible choice.”
“And some days that thought will take flesh: “maybe my life would have been better if I’d married this person instead.”
“And maybe that thought will be right. Neither Gord or Bec or anyone else can know that out of the several billion people on this planet that this person is the “most” suitable option. And if marriage depended on knowing that you had found the best possible partner from the millions of possible options, then it would be an absolute nonsense.
“But it doesn’t. It depends on taking a calculated gamble on a good enough option, and following through on a vowed commitment to make it work, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death parts us.
“That’s why, in the Christian tradition, marriage is understood as an ascetic discipline in the same way as monasticism is understood. This tradition says that there are two main lifestyles which can speed up the process of sanctification — the process of having your faults purged and growing into Christ-like wholeness — and those two lifestyles involve either becoming a monk or getting married.
“Both are regarded as hard lifestyles and tough forms of discipline. Both involve entering a vowed life. Both are permanent.
“Both commit you to living with people who you can’t leave and who can’t leave you, and who therefore care a great deal about what you are like to live with. They care intensely about the prickly, nasty, ungracious bits of you, because they have to live with them until death, or until you grow out of them, and so insisting that you grow out of them is always the better option. And so they will frequently hold up the mirror and confront you with some harsh home truths about yourself, and prayerfully needle you to wake up to yourself and grow up.
“Other friends can give up on you, or just limit the relationship to a tolerable depth, but in marriage or in the monastic community you live by a vow to stick at it for life and to go for the greatest intimacy and grace and love possible.
“Of course, we have all seen marriages which fail in this by settling into a tolerable truce — “you silently put up with my shittiness and I’ll silently put up with yours” — but that’s a marriage that’s given up, and those in them know it.
“Staying together and pushing on through the pain barriers is hard work, and tough discipline, but it is worth it, because if we stick at the task of being refined by one another, not only do we each become more whole and grounded, but we each become more capable of meeting each other in the realms of ecstatic intimacy where even angels would fear to tread.
“The wild passionate ecstasy which falling in love promises but can never deliver can be achieved by thirty or forty years of the refining fires of disciplined marriage. That is a radically counter-cultural understanding of marriage, but it is the understanding that has been handed down to us in the Christian tradition, and this is a Christian marriage being entered today…”
A Marriage of Opposites
We are each a ‘marriage of opposites.’ Each Full Moon invites us into living this conundrum with more grace and acceptance.
We are our Best and Worst Self. We are our Strongest and Weakest Self. Both/and.
Where you are judging the ‘weakest link’ parts of yourself?
What would it look like to equip these parts instead?
What does your Scared Self, your Young Self, your Stuck Self, your Shamed Self, need, in order to be able to step into change?
And what invaluable insights do these Selves offer? Perhaps the ‘next piece’ you need to hear on your journey…
If you’d appreciate some companioning as you reflect on your ‘marriage of opposites’ and what is becoming possible now, I’d love to journey with you!
Our Modus Operandi:
Radical Acceptance + Full Presence = New Awareness
New Awareness + Time = Transformation!
Special offer still applies!
Sending all my love,
P.S. I’m about to head on two weeks’ holiday with my family, so follow me on social media if you’re interested in some glimpses of the mighty Mississippi – we’re following it from its headwaters in Minnesota halfway down the country to St Louis, Missouri! (see links below)!