It's In Rearward Mode Again
According to the age-old practice of astrology, we are all influenced by the effect of Mercury in retrograde. What is Mercury retrograde anyway?
Due to the way our planet’s orbit interacts with the orbits of the other planets, they might sometimes appear to be travelling backward through the night sky with respect to the zodiac. This is, in fact, an illusion, which is called apparent retrograde motion.
Three times a year, it appears as if Mercury is travelling backwards. These periods are referred to as times when Mercury is in retrograde motion, or simply “Mercury retrograde.” These times in particular were traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration.
However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. It’s said that intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.
We are right smack in the midst of the first of 2020’s trinity. It began February 17 and goes through March 10. The other two are June 18 to July 1 and October 14 to November 3. Mark it on your calendar. If you find things are pretty wonky you can always check your calendar to see if you can pin it on Mercury.
The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and such. So, when Mercury is retrograde, it is advisable to remain flexible, allow extra time for travel, and avoid signing contracts. Double check your email responses, check in with reservations before taking that trip. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again before making any final decisions. You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.
Some people blame Mercury retrograde for bad things that happen in their lives. It is sometimes easier to blame someone or something else than to take responsibility for the messes in their lives. In fact this is a good time to reflect. Mercury retrograde can be an excellent time to take a step back and reanalyze who you are and what you are doing, but do refrain from making any drastic changes until after retrograde has ended.
How it may affect us personally depends on our zodiac sign and that’s for astrology gurus. Not my purview. One final piece of advice – be judicious in exercising the fickle finger that loves to hit the send key.
Comments are welcomed.
Words – My New Sleeping Pill
Do you have those nights or even several nights when you just can’t get to sleep or stay asleep? Have you try herbal remedies, meditation or some over the counter meds which fail to satisfy? I’ve been there. Sometimes various remedies seem to be effective at different times for a couple of days. Then nada. What is one to do? My right brain’s resourcefulness came to the rescue and I concocted some word games that work wonders for me. Thought I would share a few. Maybe they might give any non-sleepers out there ideas that might be suitable.
Truth be told there was a time when some of these games just got my mind going and kept me awake even longer, which is the danger of too much thinking. Then a mysterious change occurred. Maybe it was hormones. Who knows? Yet, glad of it. Here are samples of the earlier games which were not long-term effective, but might be for someone else. There was listing song titles which included a color. Next I tried song titles with either a male or female name. An added challenge to this game was going through the alphabet citing a name for each letter. I discovered I liked using the alphabet as a basis for most of the games.
Some other examples were naming flowers, trees, fruits or vegetables for each letter. I only selected one category per night. The x, y, z’s could get tricky. Another alphabet game that worked for several months was one we used to play as kids. Maybe you know it. Starting with A, it goes – A my name is Alice and my husband’s name is Adam. We come from Alabama and we sell apples. You do the same for each letter using whatever names, places, products, you choose.
The next long term game included coming up with a myriad of male or female names for each alphabet letter. I might do female names one night and male names the next. This was a great success. What I think happened was my brain would get either tired or bored after a few letters and I’d fall asleep. When this game started to wear thin, I stumbled onto a new scheme.
My subscribing to the Merriam-Webster’s word of the day spawned the current sleeping pill formula. I actually alternate this one with another pill. I will explain both. Using the M-W daily word’s first and last letter, I think of as many words as possible that start and end with those same letters. I surprised myself at how many words I actually know. Along the way I added some twists and turns to keep things interesting. It doesn’t take long for brain boredom to set in. After that it’s all good until the alarm goes off in the morning.
The final pill I will describe is a recent one I discovered which I alternate with the M-W daily word. I’m not sure how this would suit anyone who relies on seeing the printed word and writing things down. Being blind, I envision everything in my mind so this pill goes down easily. This game appears in puzzle books or puzzle sections of the newspaper. A word is presented and you have to make as many other words as possible using the letters of that word. I tend to select words like matriculate, shenanigans, candelabra for example. There are nearly endless words that can be formed from their letters. The more that can be formulated the faster I fall asleep. It’s like my brain is telling me, “Listen, lady. We are supposed to do our clearest, most creative, most focused thinking during waking hours. Kindly stop bugging me with those stupid games. I need to get my zees so I can be at my best for us.”
Homer once said, “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” Strangely, curiously, pairing the two resulted in my formula for sleep. Go figure.
Comments are welcomed.
Sky Rocket Delight
Call me crazy. I love Valentine’s Day, which BTW is coming this week to your neighborhood (and everywhere else). Whether I’ve had a partner or not, Valentine’s Day is still a mid-winter favorite. True, it’s become over commercialized, pressure to give one’s partner a card, candy, jewelry, etc. Many people find the day a difficult one if they don’t have someone to share it with for any number of circumstances. Let me explain my perspective on the day of that chubby cherub slinging a bow and arrow.
I look at it as an opportunity to exchange micro moments of positivity with others. Of course, these opportunities ought not be limited to one day.
Something I once dreamed up is to have a Valentine missile. It would go off on February 14 sending millions and millions of tiny parachutes into the skies which would float down to earth with little hearts. There would be a message on each heart like, Be Kind, I Love You, Peace, Let’s Be friends, You Matter, Smile and so on. They would make everyone’s heart open and feel happy and want to get along.
Obviously, we do not have any devices that would explode into tiny heart carrying parachutes. Yet, there is something we can do in the real world. What if we were to get some heart-shaped post-its, or business sized cards and the like. Next we could write a brief positive message on the cards or post-its and randomly leave them at all the stops we make throughout the day. That could include putting one at each family member’s place at the table, one at a colleague’s desk at work, one on the table at a restaurant after a meal. Give one to the postal person, a sales clerk, a service provider, a teacher, a classmate, etc. This is where you get to have fun being creative and imaginative. .
Maybe, just maybe by depersonalizing the day doing little acts of kindness we can bring happiness to our recipients. Maybe, just maybe we can even find ways to spread those micro moments of positivity every day. The truth, you know, is that when we do for others, we are uplifted as well.
As my friend Lucy van Pelt espoused, “All you need is love and a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Comments are welcomed.
An Adventure In Mindlessness
Mindfulness is a practice that is an important component of achieving and maintaining well-being. You may have heard definitions such as paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally from Jon Kabat Zinn. Or, keeping your attention alive in the present moment from Thich Nhat Hanh. Harvard University professor Ellen Langer, who has studied mindfulness for over 35 years, suggests that being mindful is as simple as noticing new things. She says that when we notice new things. we become engaged which keeps us in the present. It can open us to new perspectives.
Now let’s talk about mindlessness. I’m not referring to being an airhead or of diminished capacity. It is more the state of being on automatic pilot or reacting based on beliefs or assumptions. When we function on automatic pilot we are not there. And, as Langer says, when we are not there we are not there to know we are not there. This is from a blog I wrote a couple of years ago, but after what I did the other night, it seemed worth revisiting.
Have you ever poured cream into the sugar bowl instead of the coffee cup? Did you ever grab a tube of medicinal ointment thinking it was toothpaste? Or maybe you’ve gotten all dressed up to go to a special event finding out when you arrived it was the wrong date? Many of you may have experienced being on social media on your smart phone, then suddenly needing to make a phone call. You start looking all around for the phone. I think we’ve all experienced such blunders over the years. This leads to my most recent one which at least led to a lot of laughs. Here’s what happened.
I was on a hand-held phone with a friend as I was getting ready to turn in for the night. I often like to watch TV for a few minutes before actually going to sleep. I left the remote somewhere on the bed. Being vision impaired is my excuse for not knowing exactly where the remote was. While my friend was talking, I inadvertently dropped the phone while feeling around for the remote. Being in a totally mindless state, I picked up the remote and started talking into it as if it was the phone. For a few seconds I didn’t understand why my friend was not responding. She continued talking and I suddenly came out of my stupor realizing the phone was on the bed and it was not what I was talking into. Good grief! I must say I still chuckle every time I think about it.
Although it is still amusing, it also emphasizes the importance of being fully present in our lives. Most of the time these gaffs are without consequence. Yet, there are several instances of more serious results of not paying attention. Getting off automatic pilot, staying engaged, staying in the moment benefits us in every aspect of our lives. That being said, I am going to take the remote off the charger and call a friend.
Comments are welcomed.