With each passing moment energies are mounting. If you are sensitive then you have been feeling this months Full Moon coming since mid last week - or perhaps even earlier. We are hours away from the Moon reaching its maximum fullness, as well as the Lunar Eclipse which will occur early in the morning of the 15th. If you would like to read more about the eclipse, and how and when to see it, you can here. I will be up to watch it!
As far as how this is all effecting us energetically it's a powerful and emotional time. All around me this past week, and especially over the weekend, I have noticed in myself and in others a deep deep sadness surfacing, one that seems very old. Almost so old that everyone keeps saying, "I'm not sure why I am feeling this" or "why is this coming up for me, I thought I dealt with this?". I really think it is sadness that has been buried, and forgotten, and is surfacing so that it can be healed. Maybe it's even a sadness that is not ours, but one we have been carrying around from our linage. I feel it is the powerful energy of this Full Moon and Eclipse that is pulling that energy up to be looked at. Ask yourself, what about this feels familiar? Is this something I have felt before? Is this something I have been carrying around for a long time? Am I ready to let it go? Whatever little bits of sadness that we haven't dealt with are showing up and testing us. How will you approach these feelings with the knowledge and wisdom from all that you have experienced and learned? It is a time where you need to trust yourself, and trust that you are prepared to heal these wounds, and seeing them for what they are - old energy. Instead of feeling weighed down by this task lean more towards having gratitude for the opportunity this resurfacing is giving you to heal.
Use your creativity to transform it. Don't shy away from these feelings that are coming up, although they are difficult and overwhelming, they are rich material from which to create! Use it! Write, draw, dance, sing, plant a garden! Also - have a good cry. Don't underestimate the power of tears. I think crying is one of the most transformative and creative acts. I also think it is a great way to move that energy and allow yourself to dive into those feelings. Just don't get stuck in it, make sure every act you are making is one that is in service to movement, moving and transforming the energy. And be gentle and kind to yourself and others right now. We are all extra sensitive and going through a lot. It's a perfect time to practice compassion and self-love.
- i just spent a few hours reading all of Simon Doonan's editorial content for Slate. My favorites are: Why the Art World Is So Loathsome, Beware of Normcore... I want to list about 7 other great pieces by him... how can I choose the best ones? I can't. Instead I am going to recommend just heading over there and spending an hour or two reading his hilarious and perceptive insights. You will be all the better for it.
- a hypnotic expert of Trisha Brown's 1987 performance Newark - round up - day one of Milan Design week - two of my favorites, Faye Toogood (more here - watch the video!) and Max Lamb (his instillation for dzen looks bananas)!
- shows I am excited to see: long time favorite, Polly Apfellbaum in the group show CHERUB, Isabelle Carnaro at Hannah Hoffman, Math Bass at Overduin & Co, Anthony Pearson at David Kordansky. Shows I wish I could see: Karla Black at David Zwirner in New York, and IRL.
- now on to something very near and dear to my heart. I have recently started volunteering at OUR HOUSE. The OUR HOUSE mission is to provide grief support services, education, resources and hope to the Los Angeles community. I work with kids and have two groups right now, one in-house group and a weekly school group. Although I have only been working with them for a few short months these kids and this experience has changed my life so profoundly. It's work that is deeply personal to me and I think what OUR HOUSE does and what they offer people, especially kids, who are facing tremendous loss is so very important and essential. Last night I had the privilege of going to a screening of the HBO Documentary made about Camp Erin, a grief camp for kids. One Last Hugwill premiere on HBO Monday night, if you can watch it please do! It is deeply moving, these kids are so brave and inspiring, and they experience such healing and transformation in the short time of a weekend. I am so excited to be at Camp Erin this year and work with these amazing kids! Also - Our House is doing their annual Run For Hope on April 27th! If you would like to participate in the event and walk or run in memory of someone close to you who has died please join me! You can read more about it here, and I have also set up a fundraiser page if you would like to donate to this amazing non-profit organization! Milano Chow
We have crossed over the Spring Equinox and the Sun and Moon are in the sign of Aries. Aries is the first fire sign that we encounter in the new year, and it is fitting that it is the sign that falls at the beginning of Spring, ushering in new energy and marking a new season. Right now is all about beginnings and beginning anew! Entering into the realm of Aries is embarking on the hero's journey to find ones Self. The hero's journey can be understood on different levels, depending how deep you want to take it. On the outer circle you could use it as an archetype in your life to understand how you are breaking away from the pack and forging ahead alone into new territory. Maybe this is new territory for you as a person, or who you are to your family, your lineage, your tribe... maybe it has to do with work, or a social/political cause, or a new way of thinking or living life. This time could be a journey into the unseen spiritual realm, a quest to find the divine within. More deeply, during this time we are seeking our individual identity, or what Jung calls individuation. There is no growth when we are stuck in old ego driven patterns and behaviours. Most of us live our life from the place of ego. In this time we are being called to break away from our ego, there must be separation from it, and then a reintegration. This movement is the movement of growth: separation, union, separation, union. It is how we evolve.
In what ways are you breaking away from the pack, or away from old patters, away from the control of the ego, to move towards something new?! Is this an easy thing to do? Most likely it is a mix of feeling natural because that is where the energy is directing and pulling us, and it probably also feels difficult as the ego always likes to stay in control and will fight tooth and nail to keep a hold on you.
During this time just watch yourself, and if you are sensitive you can feel when you are in the current and being pulled on your own journey towards more of your Self, and then when you are bumping up against your ego. Watch what the ego tells you, how it tries to derail you, what forms of resistance it creates to keep you from bypassing it and accessing more of your true Self. I think one of the best things you can do is to study your ego, really learn how it works, what voice it has in your thinking, it's only then that you can identify it and have the awareness to choose not to come from it.
This is a time of deep personal growth, where your sense of being an individual is strong. Break away from the pack, and run towards the thing that is calling your name. And do this for no one else but you.
This is our second New Moon this month, this also happened in January. It is an extra powerful time for wishing! It has twice the power and magnitude. It's a great time with the energy of Aries to wish about courage, willfulness, or anything that's about making a new beginning in any area of your life. You are allowed ten wishes maximum and they must be hand written on paper. The best time to wish is within the first 24 hours of the exact time of the New Moon, but within the first 48 will do.
With this Full Moon in Virgo you may be feeling like you want to take more time for yourself, quiet and on your own. Today is a wonderful time to do so. Virgo energy may also be working through you in your need to organize your life, rearrange your home, take care of your to-do list. Initiating those new projects, or any new project or relationship, might feel a bit challenging right now as Mars is in retrograde. Mars is the planet of forward movement, and while it is in retrograde (until May 20th) it can feel a bit like you are trying to run through quicksand. There is so much resistance in the air! On top of the already intense energy of Full Moons!
The last few days I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be in the moment, and accept what is. It seems a funny time to be thinking about this as I myself have had lots of resistance in areas where I am normally the first one to jump in, and I had a rather challenging and intense week with things that usually bring me so much fulfilment. We all know the teachings out there about the importance of being in the moment, and not living at the effect of the feelings brought on by living in the past or the future (I would categorize these as thoughts of the mind), and how this awareness of being present can bring peace. To that point I learn more every day how an awareness of being in our body can help us to do this, noticing how things feel and even more by what comes up when we move the body (being active, dancing, running, etc...). And how by doing this a truth about the present moment is revealed, how things can come to the surface and how things can be transformed by moving the body. But, I think a lot about where this might get a little tricky for us. There certainly are moments where having this type of awareness brings us feelings of gratitude and peace, but what about times when we need to simultaneously hold two truths, like love and anger? Or times when the truth of the moment is something that is hard to sit with, like pain or resistance. These are the moments where being in the moment actually becomes really challenging. How do we learn to stay with ourselves in these moments? How can we learn to sit with and honor these things that might not be pleasant or comfortable? Or! The thing I think we all struggle with is how to sit in the question of all this, how to sit in the unknown, and just be with our feelings, not trying to find an answer or a solution. All the while watching ourselves create tiny or big distractions so we don't have to go there.
I don't have an answer for all of this, and in a way I'm not sure there is one. There is no solution, and that's the challenge. How to just be in the unknown, and in the moment, even when the moment is uncomfortable.
James Hall Nasmyth and James Carpenter
From: The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite, 1874
I am happy to share that starting this Sunday, March 16th, I will be leading a weekly
Breathwork Meditation circle at my favorite east side yoga studio, Yogala, in Echo Park.
If you need to breath, relax, restore, let go, go deeper, or simply connect come and join me!
And if you or friends of yours on the east side have been looking for a Breathwork circle that
is close to home look no further!
7:30 - 8:45 pm
YOGALA in ECHO PARK
every Sunday, starting MARCH 16th
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Breath is what connects us to each other, to every thing, to all times. This is a two part active Pranayama Breathwork mediation that is very healing. Though the breath is simple to learn it is quite powerful and profound to experience. The breath clears emotional blocks and stuck energy, allowing you to open up and connect to the universe, dive deeper into the self, and tap into your truth and intuition. Through quieting the mind you create space to listen with your heart, leaving you feeling peaceful, grounded, and expansive.
Please bring a mat or blanket to lay on, an open heart, and your sense of curiosity.
- two really beautiful, honest and power pieces of writing about death and grief. One by a friend I went to undergrad with, we recently reunited and have been having interesting conversations about grief and loss, I read this on his blog and had to share. And then a really amazing book review my friend Ann did for a book called Ghost Belly, read it here.
- finally saw Blue is the Warmest Color. I was totally blown away. I am a hard sell on... well... mostly everything, but this movie is incredible. Raw, honest, beautiful, gritty, vulnerable, intense... all the things I love. If you haven't see it... you are missing out.
- had a big gallery day last weekend when it was raining, and saw Hiroshi Sugito's wonderful painting show at Marc Foxx.
- check out the FvF apartment! Swoon! Speaking of swooning, check out this amazing home in Barcelona! Bananas!
- this made me smile and take a deep breath, sent to me by my friend Claire, because we have many a conversation about these things.
more later - I am out the door to refuel myself in the sun. This weekend was a big one for me, a game changer. Woke up today with new eyes in which to see the world!
In December my favorite partner in creative crime, Claire Cottrell, and I shot a lookbook for my friend and amazing artist Bari Ziperstine! Claire shot these amazing photos, and I did art direction and styling. We really wanted to create a look for the shoot that was different than everything we have been seeing out there lately, and capture the spirit of Bari's rad ceramics! Shot in an industrial studio space downtown with only natural harsh sunlight and one huge mirror. I also silver leafed some leafs and lemons for the shoot.
Check out Bari's new store with all of her recent work, I am a huge fan (and owner) of the lamps and Brutalist Bowls!
A new month, a New Moon. In Los Angeles we are getting tons of much needed rain right now, let us take a moment and have gratitude for this, and connect to it's pure and cleansing energy. New Moons are the perfect time to let go of the old, and bring in the new. We can use the energy from this rain, as we let old ways, old energies wash away, and allow ourselves to be bathed in a new light.
I have been thinking a lot about the people I am close to in my life (new relationships and long time ones), watching them all step into new rolls, myself included as I begin doing grief counseling for kids. Looking around I see it is time for us all to get out of own way, to enter into new territory, to follow what is calling us. Sometimes you can see in a person something that is waiting, something they are meant to do in this world that they are sitting on, or dancing around. If this is ignored for too long it can cause all sorts of dis-ease and discomfort. This can show up in many ways, often times we aren't connecting it to the thing in us that is shouting, asking to be born. This is a time to ask yourself if you have been sitting on something you have always want to do, or be. Is there some secret passion in you waiting to be discovered? Can you be clear enough to listen to what it is saying? How can you nurture this voice calling to you? What is stopping you? That perhaps is the biggest question. Most of the time the things we are afraid of are really the directions we need to be heading. To refine your listening skills so you can detect what is actually your intuition telling you not to do something, verses a fear that is sitting in front of the very thing you are meant to be doing in your life. I believe that kind of fear can be used as a compass, to guide you in the right direction, and let you know you are getting closer to the gold. But, to get there you have to bump up against a lot of your own issues, ones that are hard and often times painful to face. Are you brave enough to face yourself in the name of becoming more of who you are meant to be in this life?
With these new observations, realizations, experiences, I have also notice that once we are in this new place our work is not done. Nope. I have had many conversations this past week with people who are also stepping into rolls as teachers and healers, talking to them about how to show up as yourself. After all the training, and workshops, and learning... how do we let that all go and trust ourselves enough to show up as our authentic and true self? This is the question I am in now. Am I willing to trust myself? I have experienced in the past week, the more and more I can do this, the more and more I feel supported and feel the mystery, grace and power of the universe.
These experiences are being supported by the watery and infinite energy of Pisces. Pisces rules the vastness of the ocean and the depth of the Divine Feminine. It's in this pure Feminine energy that deep compassion can be felt, one that has the ability to encompass all of the worlds suffering, she can hold it with out judgment, with out looking away. She has strength in her compassion, this is something we can learn from her energy. Having an open, compassionate heart does not make you weak. You can empower yourself when you are brave enough to feel what you feel while staying rooted in the self.
Pisces is ruled by Neptune, which carries with it a very vague and nebulous energy. If you are like me and have been feeling confused lately, having difficulty making decisions, this is why. We can learn to lean into this energy a bit, and surrender to it, it will loosen up our critical and analytical minds. It calls us to be more in the energy of the great mysteries of life - love, synchronicity, deja vu, intuition, art, creativity, miracles, profound healing.
I love the energy of Pisces (I suspect a lot of it has to do with my Pisces rising). Both the Sun and Moon are in Pisces so it is a magical and powerful time to deepen and trust your intuition. New Moons are also the perfect time to begin new things, bring things into your life, set intentions and make wishes. Every New Moon you are allowed ten wishes maximum, and they must be hand written on paper. This is best done within the first 24 hours of the exact time of the New Moon, but within the first 48 is ok. This month dig a bit deeper and see if you can tap into the voice I mentioned earlier, the one coming from your soul. What is it really asking for? Use the Piscean energy and make wishes about anything that has to do with unconditional love, gentleness, kindness, non-judgment, trusting, sensitivity, your intuition.
but, this means that we won't be able to have our meditation tomorrow in Cedar Grove.
There is only one reason I would happily cancel a circle and it's RAIN!
I will be rescheduling it for SATURDAY, MARCH 29th, right before the next New Moon.
I will send out an email reminder when we get closer to that time. If you would like to be on the mailing list for circles, send me your email address.
Until then, lets enjoy and have lots of gratitude for this rain.
Happy New Moon tomorrow!
N E W M O O N M E D I T A T I O N
Exchange with Nature
Join me on Saturday, March 1st in Cedar Grove for some movement, meditation and New Moon wishing!
2:00 - 4:00pm
We will meet at the top of Commonwealth Ave (see map). There is plenty of street parking. We will start our hike up to Cedar Grove at 2:00 pm. Please allow yourself enough time to get there so we can all enjoy the hike together, have space to notice the trees, watch the birds, feel the sun, smell the eucalyptus and cedar in the air, and relax before we start.
Bring something with you or find something small during your hike up to the grove to contribute as an offering for the alter.
Wear shoes you can hike/walk in. We will be sitting outside on the ground, bring what you will need to be comfortable, a mat, blanket, or be happy laying right on the earth. Dress in layers for the weather that day. You will also want to bring water with you.
please RSVP to email@example.com
looking forward to breathing together under this New Moon!
check the blog in the event of weather for rescheduling information
If you arrive after we have left, hike up to the grover and find us
There is no more fitting day for a Full Moon in Leo than on Valentine's Day! This alignment makes me smile head to toe! Leo energy is in the air today, feel its majestic warmth, passion, and desire to express one's own unique individuality! It's a day to let your fire express itself through your heart!
What does that mean? Your fire is your truth, and almost all of us have disconnected the two. A lot of people repress their fire out of fear of it or judgment, most likely this happened when you were young, and at the time it was a way to protect yourself, or protect a very sacred aspect of yourself. But we all keep habits in our life that no longer serve us, and this is one of them. You can practice connecting the two with this little meditation. You can do it standing or laying down. Breath through your feet (this just means to imagine the breath coming up through the arches of your feet and then back down into the earth). Close your eyes and with your hands on your heart use your imagination and your body (feel free to move) to visualize yourself falling through fire, maybe it's flames, maybe it's like lava. How would you move? What is the gift of fire to your body? Just ask this question over and over, the first thing that comes to mind is always what you need to hear (the second is the mind chiming in!). You have to pull this fire energy up from the ground through your legs. Then imagine your body falls into the ocean, feel it going deeper and deeper. Then ask, what is the gift of water energy to your body? Then move that energy up to the heart and ask, what is the expression of these two gifts through my heart? Just keep asking over and over and go deeper into it. You will know right away when you get to it, you will feel it. You can do this as often as you like and you can add in: what is the deepest desire of my heart or what is the gift of the firey heart? The point is to practice reconnecting to two energies, the energy of your fire with that of your heart. What makes this meditation of the heart different than others you might do in your life in your own spiritual practice is that it's connecting you to a love from the Female (goddess, the body, the soul), which is personal love. That expansive unconditional love we are used to feeling is more of a universal love, which is from the Male (god, the mind, spirit). Both are needed, they work together, like dark and light.
This balance of personal and universal love is also being mirrored right now in the sky, as the Moon is in Leo and the Sun in Aquarius. The heart is Leo's domain, and from here Leo energy rules romance, leadership, and pleasure all with such passion, and all from the personal! Aquarian energy is more detached, and has the ability to see an infinite expanse, it can see into the future, and has a desire to serve humanity with a greater purpose.
Moving on from how the skies are effecting our hearts to talking about how this Full Moon is tied into Mercury in retrograde. Yep, it's that time again. This is part of the reason you have have been feeling a funny energy in the air that you can't quite put your finger on... Mercury in retrograde. This year we will have three phases of this (Feb, June, Oct), all occurring in Air signs (Aquarius, Gemini, Libra ) (last year it was during Water signs, and our inward feelings were emphasized). This time of retrograde is bringing to the surface issues related to the linear mind, mental qualities, objectivity, understanding, clear perspective, and planning. We may be feeling uncomfortable or frustrated as this retrograde is flipping everything on it's end, and we must let go of our need to control what life is presenting us. Retrograde is a time to help us get unstuck and used to having things our way. Instead of getting upset about it just use it, let it point to the parts of yourself that are ready to evolve.
I will leave you with some of my very favorite writing on love, to this day nothing gets at it quite like this does. I wish you all a very happy St. Valentine's Day full of the many forms love takes in your life!
We entered this new year and this month with a New Moon and we are exiting the month with one as well. If you have been feeling a bit blue these last few weeks (or maybe two months) don't mistake it for something it's not. The Winter is a natural time to slow down and go with in. If you live in LA you need a little reminder that it is actually winter, with all the sunshine and warm temperatures we have been having. This is the time of year it is natural for your body to take more solo time, to go to bed earlier and sleep in later, and to go within. Think of the bear and how it hibernates in the winter, going within to digest the years experience. In it's cave the bear seeks answers while dreaming or hibernating. Just as the bear withdraws from the outside world during these winter months, we can learn to withdraw from our outer entanglements and seek refuge within. In the silence is where the power of knowing is. It is also a natural time to be with our inner child: old wounds, deep emotions, experiences, imprints... around this might be coming up for you during this time. If this resonates with you take comfort in your knowing that you are in rhythm with the seasons. And it is important to use this energy that is coming up, create with it, write about it... just keep it moving, don't let it get stuck in your body.
The Moon has moved into the sign of Aquarius, it is a great time to revisit your New Moon wishes from the beginning of the year or make new ones. Aquarian energy is about being a visionary, looking far into the future. Use this as you sit down and make your wishes this month. We can access this energy to go up and asses our lives and others around us, and dream big as we look ahead, but it is also really important to ground that Air energy, to bring it back down into our bodies and into the earth. When you are wishing this month it might be a good idea to use the wishing meditation I wrote about at the beginning of the month, you can read about it here. It is a really powerful meditation you can use any time, but it seems like an ideal moment to make use of it.
As always, you get ten wishes maximum and they must be hand written on paper. The best time to wish is within the first 24 hours of the exact time of the New Moon. Within the first 48 is ok too.
Aquarian energy is really intellectual, which is an opposing force that our bodies are feeling right now because of natural draw do go down into the darkness and into the void of Winter. You might be feeling this tension in your body. Make sure you are doing something physical to move this and connect the two energies. Taking a walk or dancing are perfect activities to do right now.
*post New Moon note* if anyone else felt like this was an uncharacteristically strong New Moon you are not alone, in many ways it felt a lot like a Full Moon. Not it's normal gentle quiet New Moon energy, there was lots of confrontation and emotions and deep feelings coming up for people. And a time for lots of strong dreams too!