The Hard and the Soft. -by SJM
As per this week's horoscopes:
Full Moon on Sunday 11.17 at 09:15 CST while exalted in Taurus and in Krittika Nakshatra. Sun is weak and in young degrees (sandhi) at this time as it will have just moved to Scorpio in the wee hours of the morning on 11.16. Seek clarity and purification with this Full Moon weekend and don't over indulge in sweets and intoxicants. The coming weeks will bring a theme of "cutting out what is unnecessary". Attend to your inner flame, your life force energy at this time.
This week we will work with the stomach, the gut, as our body part. The metaphors for gut have to do with digestion and assimilation as well as elimination. What are you digesting and assimilating? How effectively do you eliminate? We use this process in our lives on multiple levels; with our assimilation of environment, our internal/external landscapes, with words, ideas and life's experiences.
The gut is connected to intuition- our "gut responses". Stomach problems are associated with "the inability to process and assimilate impressions received from our outer environment. Our ability to eliminate, or how we eliminate, is connected with the abdomen. In Eastern traditions, the belly is considered the center of the body, and the place form which a state of balance emanates. The abdomen acts as a transit area between the upper and lower areas of our body." -The Expressive Body in Life, Art and Therapy by Daria Halprin.
Use movements such as "cat and cow" and gentle spinal twists to activate the gut. Notice if your breaths are going all the way to the base of the stomach, or stopping short. Lie on your back and place your hands on your belly. Feel the gentle undulations of its rise and fall with each breath. Gently knead your gut with your fingers. Notice any sore spots or lumps? Move around the navel in a circular pattern. Stop and let your body relax and respond to the touch of your hands on your belly.
Come to your drawing pad. Draw your belly. What images were invoked during your body part exploration? What colors and textures are alive in your drawing? Ask your Self "Are there "leftovers" that I am digesting still?" Does your gut have more to say, more to digest and assimilate? If your gut could talk, what would it tell you?
It is the third day of Navaratri and last day of Ma Durga. May you be showered with her abundant courage, power and strength. Om Shanti*
A question via FB from Nina:
"Why does life always feel so hard/emotional during the nine days? I assume I'm not the only one who feels this?"
"You are not. This is a particularly potent time for me as well. My mother passed on the full moon just after the last Fall Navaratri, so this is an emotional time for me on many levels. I attribute the "sensitivity" to how thin the veils are. Navaratri is specifically timed (in the Vedic calendar) with how enlivened the Devatas are, how near the Goddess (shakti) is, how much we can touch/taste/see/feel/experience her abundance and power- inner and outer, in nature and within our own nature. Particularly right now, the planets are increasing this sensitivity- you might call it "heightened awareness." It can be painful or overwhelming, but my suggestion is getting embodied, using this sensitivity and emotion in a mental/emotional/physical/spiritual way with Body-centered Expressive Art Therapy techniques. Moving with these tides is essential. The pain comes when we resist our currents. I am asking my Self right now questions like: Where am I holding back? Why is my sadness and depression so heightened? Why am I resistant to moving forward? Where is this fear/anxiety coming from and what is it telling me? Then these are the tools I use (entry points) into my body/centered art therapy practice. A place to start the journey inward.... Check out www.Tamalpa.org as a Resource and also Daria Halprin's book The Expressive Body. Thanks for your question because, I think it's safe to say, many of us are feeling similarly and this is a very powerful time indeed."