Comfort in These Stressful Times

When the Going gets Tough, the Tough….

…….take good care of themselves! Yes! It is easy to forget the things that can bring us out of the dark corners of our minds.

When we are small children we develop comfort rituals to help put ourselves back to sleep, to relieve the hurts, to roll with disappointment.  We base these on our experiences and what our parents or caretakers have modeled for us.  Well, sometimes we are still that small child inside, desperately needing comfort, care and nurturing.  Try this:

  • Make a list of those things that nurture and comfort you.  These can be simple things like a soft blanket, a pleasant smelling candle to light, a book of inspirational sayings, a walk in the woods, soft music (lullabies work nicely), a warm bath, a stuffed toy, a box of markers and a nice big drawing pad, a picture of a beautiful, safe place, yoga or other stretching exercises, a big, soft robe, a set of your most comfortable clothes, a sunny window, a vase of colorful flowers, incense, a cup of herbal tea…
  • Write each idea on a slip of paper, fold it up, and put them in a hat, a favorite bowl, a prominent place on your altar. Now, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and allow your intuition to guide you to just the right comfort for today.
  • Have old board games around the house? Find one with a spinner or purchase a blank game spinner. Section the board with 2, 4, 8, 12….as many sections as you like. Now, decorate the spinner board, highlighting each idea. When the stress begins to close in, reach for your spinner and give it a whirl!

The list can be endless. If you have difficulty coming up with things to do for yourself, think about what you would do for someone else who needs comforting, then turn all that love back onto yourself.  These are yours to use and to cherish when the day seems long or the night seems too dark.  Make a list of comforts and decide what works best for you.  Be sure to write them down for future reference or to share with friends and loved ones.

Here is an excellent article from Psychology Today:

A ritual is a ceremony in which we call in spirit to be the driving force, the overseer of our activities. It is a way for us to find our way to wholeness, peace, self-acceptance, and acceptance of others. Ritual allows us to connect with the self, the community, and the natural forces around us. Ritual helps us remove blocks between us and our true spirit.

The purpose of rituals is to take us to a place of self-discovery and mastery. In this sense ritual is to the soul what food is to the physical body… Rituals are participatory activities that involve the whole being: body, spirit, mind, and soul. In our rituals we call in spirits, ancestors, and dimensional beings to guide us each step of the way. Rituals are a form of continuous prayer. They help us to consciously incorporate healthy, genuine spiritual evolution and to dwell in the sacred in a way that truly heals us.”
— Welcoming Spirit Home: Ancient African Teachings to Celebrate Children and Community
Sobonfu Some

Scorpio Rising

When I was a child, my Aunt Thelma would wait for the Scranton Times-Tribune to check out Sydney Omar’s daily horoscope column.  She would sip her coffee and read the daily prediction for whoever was sitting around the kitchen table.  I was always polite, but never really thought he was very accurate.  Looking back though, I guess her enthusiasm for things like astrology planted a seed within my curious mind.  Scorpio is my rising sign and I believe it is responsible for my desire to look beneath, to plumb the depths.  Fast forward many decades and I am devoted to promoting another type of astrology, psychological astrology, as a vehicle for growth and change.  I have the feeling that if more people really understood astrology, they could benefit greatly from a consultation.  Psychological astrology is not predictive nor is it a psychic art.  It is, however, a wonderful tool to support a deeper understanding of the self, especially if incorporated as a tool in psychotherapy. 

Here is what Carl Jung had to say about the matter: “Obviously astrology has much to offer psychology, but what the latter can offer its elder sister is less evident. So far as I judge, it would seem to me advantageous for astrology to take the existence of psychology into account, above all the psychology of the personality and of the unconscious.”

So, what can modern psychology learn from astrology?   I do believe that the natal chart (given an accurate date and time of birth) can act as a map for our greatest potential.  From childhood on through our adult years, we can look at factors influencing our journey, depending on the planets and the way they communicate with each other.  Imagine the zodiac wheel is a big conference table.  When we are born, the planets are sitting in assigned seats and each seating position designates an integral part of us.  As time passes, the planets move around the table, each trying out the comfort or goodness-of-fit of each other’s seats and roles.  Their perspectives and behaviors change, depending on their position around the table.  We grow older and our inner dynamics evolve with the time and culture. 

When I look at a client’s natal chart, I do not automatically assume my deductions are correct, but it sure gives me a good starting point of questions to ask and where to look with the client about healing.  The process is similar to Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) or parts work.  We begin to look at presenting issues and what planets or tensions in the chart might be worked with.  So, for instance, if I am feeling impulsive, angry, or competitive in relationships and my Mars is in Libra, I might be looking at how to express my Mars in a more constructive way.  I can then focus on Mars, dialog with my Mars, write about my Mars, do artwork to express my Mars and ultimately own and understand the process of my issue from a deep place of self-awareness.  

Of course, this approach does not work for everyone, but I encourage the reader to be curious and investigate further before discounting the potential of astrology to assist in the healing process.  There are some pioneers out there who have written about psychological astrology, and here are a few:  Noel Tyl, Richard Tarnas, Glen Perry, and Liz Greene.  If you lean more toward a belief in reincarnation as a vital part of the the soul’s journey, Steven Forrest and Jeffrey Wolf Green should be on top of the list.