What Do You Want?
One of the most valuable things astrology has to offer is in helping us gain insight and clarity into what we actually want and need. Many of us spend a lot of time and effort trying to get what we think we want, but we rarely take much time to reflect on what it is we are really trying to achieve in our lives. Others have a general sense that things could be better, but little idea of what that specifically means.
For example, a lot of clients ask me, half-jokingly (but only half), if I see them winning the lottery. For many of them, this translates into something along the lines of, "I don't like my job," which further implies "I need greater financial independence" and/or "I want to do something I really love."
Now, the odds of winning the lottery are about 80 million to one, but the chances of each of us finding meaningful and rewarding work are much, much better.
The problem is, society sets up models of how to do things, and we all tend to buy into these models. Of course, in our post-modern, pluralistic society, you have a wide range of models to choose among. However, family pressures, our early experiences, ethnic and religious influences, and other factors make most of us strongly disposed towards one model or another. We know other options exist, but we also assume that those options are for “other people.”
Taking a little time to question what you really want is a great idea. Try this simple (or not so simple) exercise:
1) Sit somewhere quiet when you know you have about 15 or 20 minutes free from interruptions.
2) Have a pen and some paper ready. No - you can’t do this without writing things down.
3) Take a minute to meditate or otherwise compose yourself.
4) Now think about the things you do which really energize you and make you happy. Write down a list of about five things. Reflect on how much a part of your life these things are now.
5) Now picture your life a year from now. Make it better than it is now. You are doing what you really want to be doing, having the kind of relationship you really want, etc. Write down five things about your future life.
6) Next, imagine that you are someone else. Not anyone that really exists, but an imaginary version of yourself, you, but in a completely different life. What kind of life would you make for this other you, if you didn’t have the constraints that limit you now? Write down five things about that life.
7) Finally, look over your three lists. Notice the ways in which they overlap, as well as the differences.
Most of us have a great deal of trouble imagining a better life, even when we know what it would include. Many people say things like, “I would like to quit my job and be a photographer, but I can’t do that.” That’s why we have to create a whole other person in this exercise, so we can imagine them living our lives! Many people can’t even bring themselves to imagine a better life for themselves!
One of the most valuable things that can come out of this exercise is a sense of the limitations you may be imposing on yourself. The first few times you try this exercise you may not even be able to complete it, or you may find that you are actually afraid to write down (or even think) what it is that would make your life better.
Astrologically, we recognize that there are energetic patterns in all of us which can manifest in a variety ways. But your inner potential may or may not match up very well with the life you are leading. That’s one of the reasons why we often say something like, “John’s a Leo, but he doesn’t seem like it.” (Of course, there are other reasons, too, like the influence of the ascendant and moon). Understanding how these energetic patterns operate in your life is one of the greatest benefits that can come out of an in-depth astrological consultation. This exercise is a very different experience before and after an Integral Consultation, for example.
It certainly is possible to not live out the best expression of the energies we are born with, but the long-term effects of swallowing our energy can include emotional and sometimes even physical distress. We get a pat on the head from our families, friends, bosses, coworkers, etc., for living up to their expectations of us, but we do so at a price to our own best life.
Even when we recognize the problem, however, we need to be gentle with ourselves. We are complex beings, and simple solutions rarely work. We each have to go through the process of becoming social and socialized, and conforming to others’ expectations is part of that process. It is impossible to transcend that stage of development without first experiencing it. And one of the great lessons of astrology is timing - there are windows of opportunity for development in the various areas of life. Few of us can pay equal attention to career, health, relationship, and other areas at the same time. Knowing when it’s time to place an emphasis on one area or another is another great benefit of an astrological consultation.
When you find yourself feeling stuck and having trouble getting life moving, take some time to reflect on what it is you truly want. We can manifest almost anything in our lives if we really set our intentions on it, but we do much better when we try to manifest something that really resonates with our deeper selves.
An Integral Consultation is a great way to get started with the process! Click here for more information.