How Do You Listen?

Consider this fable by Aesop:

The Ass & His Driver

An Ass was being driven along a road leading down the mountain side when he suddenly took it into his silly head to choose his own path. He could see his stall at the foot of the mountain, and to him the quickest way down seemed to be over the edge of the nearest cliff. Just as he was about to leap over, his master caught him by the tail and tried to pull him back, but the stubborn Ass would not yield and pulled with all his might.

“Very well,” said his master, “go your way, you willful beast, and see where it leads you.”

With that he let go, and the foolish Ass tumbled head over heels down the mountain side.

Though this wise, old fable focuses on interpersonal communication, I would add that the communication we receive from within ourselves, our intuition, connection to Source, or whatever we may call it, is even more important. If we cultivate an awareness of how we receive wisdom, then we can avoid much chaos and pain. I believe with a little consistent effort with self-reflection and turning inward, we can build a bridge to a powerful personal guidance system.

Many of us were not taught the value of stillness when we were young. Others might have been raised in a restrictive environment where meditation was something foreign and forbidden. And still others may feel that this way of knowing is only open to psychics or people who have “the gift.”  I’ll tell you a big secret:  We were all born with the gift! We just need to recognize it, honor it, and make sure we listen when it calls to us.

There really is no right or wrong way to be still. Whether it is an elaborate ritual with sound and scents or lighting a single candle for meditation, the more we make a regular practice of stillness and reflection, the more aware and in tune we become with our wisest Selves. And we are upon the New Year! What a perfect season to become still, to listen, to reflect, to make the intention of deepening this most precious gift, inner wisdom.

New Paradigms Evolving

Carl Jung was a serious student of astrology and spent much of his adult life exploring it. He proposed that the human psyche could be understood through the study of symbols, myth, and archetypes (or universal principles) and astrology is based upon these.  Through what he coined ‘synchronicity’ (simultaneous events that appear to share meaning but have no causal relationship), a person’s astrological birth chart could point them in the direction of deep understanding of the self.

 In 1932, Jung began a relationship with Wolfgang Pauli and their dialog spanned decades until Pauli’s death.  Pauli, a pioneer in the development of quantum physics, worked together with Jung on understanding how physics and psychology are integrated, and astrology was one topic they explored.  Now, I am not a mathematical whiz nor am I deeply schooled in theoretical physics, but none of my education included an appreciation of quantum mechanics.  I am guessing most of us have grown up with a fairly cut and dried Newtonian approach to the way we interpret our world, especially the unseen.  And this Newtonian approach seems to make mysticism and science mutually exclusive.  Somehow, the fact that many of our brightest lights in science were inspired by mysticism has been lost in the drying of the ink in the history books.

Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and Erwin Schrodinger gained inspiration from the Vedas (ancient Sanskrit texts that are primary to Hinduism).   Albert Einstein once reflected, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift”.  I believe there is much evidence that science, psychology, and mysticism can work together to interpret our human experience and can help us navigate this meaningful and rich landscape that is our lives.

When I was starting out as a psychotherapist in the 1990s, some of my colleagues made fun of me because I talked about things like meditation and energy.  Fast forward to 2019, and it seems most folks are on board with mindfulness, meditation, and things like acupuncture and tapping.  I am again taking a bold step into woo woo (though I find that astrology can be perfectly accurate and not so woo woo at all!).  This is not the newspaper sun sign kind of astrology that rarely makes any sense.  This is astrology based upon the language the planets in our solar system speak as they travel through the 12 signs of the zodiac.  Indeed, working with what we call your birth chart (a diagram of the heavens at the precise moment of your birth), astrology can be an excellent tool for self-discovery, understanding and personal growth (plus, it is a heck of a lot of fun!).

As a psychotherapist, I cannot tell you how helpful a client’s astrological chart can be.  Your birth chart is unique to your individual life process.  I like to call it the ‘Earth School Orientation Sheet’.  It can show you  where the greatest potential for growth and development resides in your life.  Most importantly, though, it is a process, a conversation between us,  and not some type of predictive monologue where I tell you who you are.  You already know who you are!  I am there to help you uncover the treasure, the gold.  My dream is that more and more therapists will begin to speak the language of astrology and they will use it to help their clients in ways that traditional talk therapy cannot touch.