Today is a pivotal day of power. It is the Capricorn New Moon, bringing a Solar Eclipse. Plus, Mercury stations direct, ending its very challenging retrograde of the past several weeks.
We are also, doubtless, just beginning to notice the effects of Saturn turning retrograde Wednesday. According to astrologer Lynn Hayes, “Depending on the nature of your own chart, you may notice a dark heaviness that seems to descend. Saturn and Pluto are beginning to converge into position for their big faceoff (part II) on January 31st, and that in itself is an intense cycle that requires us to look at the hard things (Saturn) so that they can be eliminated as part of Pluto’s transformation.”
So it’s time for taking inventory, and getting real about our work. Today’s exercises should be helpful for this. In fact, I recall that the first time I worked this particular set of questions, I was rewarded with a number of breakthroughs. So I encourage you to take lots of time over the weekend with these because the potential here is very juicy. Naturally, I invite you to share and discuss. Next Tuesday, we will begin our second-to-last chapter.
1. Tell the truth — what habit do you have that gets in the way of your creativity?
2. Tell the truth — what do you think might be a problem? (Hint: You are probably right.)
3. What do you plan to do about this problem? What is your payoff for holding on to it? If you can’t figure out the payoff, ask a trusted friend.
4. Tell the truth — which friends make you doubt yourself? (The self-doubt is yours already, but they trigger it).
5. Tell the truth — which friends believe in you and your talent? (The talent is yours, but the help you feel it).
6. What is the payoff in keeping your destructive friends? If the answer is, “I like them,” the next question is, “Why?”
7. Which destructive habits do your destructive friends share with your destructive self? Which constructive habits do your constructive friends share with your constructive self?
8. Setting a Bottom Line
Working with your answers to the questions above, try setting a bottom line (or two) for yourself. Begin with five of your most challenging behaviors. You can always add more later.
- If you notice that your evenings are typically gobbled up by your boss’s extra assignments, then you might make a bottom line rule: no work after six o’clock.
- If you wake up at six and could write for an hour except you are always interrupted to look for socks or make breakfast or do emergency ironing, the rule might be: Not interrupting me before 7am.
Some possible bottom lines:
- I will no longer work weekends.
- I will no longer bring work with me on social occasions.
- I will no longer place my work before my creative commitments (especially the ones I make to myself).
- I will no longer accept business calls at home after 6pm.
What are yours?
And last, but not least —
- List five small victories.
- List three nurturing actions you took for your artist in the past month.
- List three actions you could take to comfort and support your artist, starting on this magical New Moon?
- Make three nice promises to yourself. Keep them.
- Do one lovely thing for yourself each day until Full Moon.
10. To round this out to an even ten, I am adding this: Consider how today is a magical threshold, not the least of which includes that it is the first New Moon of 2010 and the end of one of Julia’s most challenging chapters. I hope that you will find some time in the next day or two, to pause and honor this transition.
Perhaps you might reflect on some of your earliest morning pages, and see how the struggles, questions, resistance and hopes therein have shifted, healed, or deepened. Then, I suggest you simply be with that, recognizing the long way you have traveled since those early days last year. In what quiet ways might you honor yourself and this growth? What intention will you set for this New Moon? What transformative magic are you preparing to seal upon the completion of this work?