Last night, I had a girl's night out with my friends. We've been planning this particular outing for about two years - there were things that needed to happen first, we all felt. We went to Cafe Sevilla and drank Sangria and ate Lamb kebabs, Paella and some amazing chocolate desserts that awed us. We laughed more joyously than any of us had for a long time. Kim has survived cancer (twice!), Sandi's divorce is almost complete, Sharon has a new boyfriend and my little business is starting to yield clients. Life feels hopeful -- and there's nothing like riding around the Gaslamp district in a horse-drawn Cinderella carriage laughing wildly with your dearest friends to remind us that life is sweet. Routine is good, breaking out of a stale routine -- priceless!
When I got home, I looked around at my spacious, orderly apartment and felt at peace. I had been working from home, and the magic of the place has been escaping me lately. I had become overly familiar with my surroundings. It took going out and coming back home to remind me how much I love where I live. As I walked into my bedroom, the scent of the freshly laundered quilt and bedding perfumed the air and delighted my senses.
Is there anything more comforting than warm, freshly-washed clothes? The clean smell, the warmth as you pull on socks straight from the dryer on a cold day or nestle in to a bed with fresh sheets? How about the aroma of freshly cut flowers? The delight of a freshly cleaned kitchen or bath? Cleanliness is said to be next to Godliness -- for a reason. A neat orderly environment comforts and soothes us. We put our minds and thoughts in order when we organize our belongings. Our home then acts as a springboard for spiritual peace. Ever try to meditate in a room with unmade bed? It's like leaving work with an unmet deadline. Sure, it can be done -- but it feels slightly off. Disharmonious. That feeling is Virgo.
This New Moon in Virgo is conjunct Venus, the planet of all that we treasure, in a grand trine to Pluto and Jupiter -- which means we are being supported in finding the power, magic and expansiveness that comes with the daily routines and habits of our lives. To give it some added oomph, I can't help but notice that these planets are also in Virgo's native 6th house here in San Diego. I'm suddenly noticing all that needs to be cleaned and cleared out in my home, on my computers/servers, and in some of the habits that have crept up on me. All that's icky in my life is blinking at me with recrimination. All that's lovely is glowing with renewed freshness. My discernment is laser sharp, and refreshed by the spiritual renewal of friends laughing, I'm re-inspired -- even compelled to put the magic back into every day. Sometimes that's something mundane, like going back to the sweeter smelling kitty litter. Some of it is more profound, like restarting a daily yoga and meditation practice. Some it involves trimming away all the sugar that has been masquerading as nourishment. Greater still, the pull of a new job, and the daily routine of working. I feel supported in gently, humbly, more perfectly offering service to my home, work and body to allow these great spiritual envelopes to better serve me.
My friend Kevin Burk has a practice that helps support all this. It's a commitment exercise using a teeny-weeny notebook (3" x 2") for a "daily ten" list of easy tasks to get used to honoring your promises to yourself. Saturn in Libra is perfectly happy to partner with us in this endeavor. The point of the exercise is thirty days of making and hopefully keeping 10 promises to yourself. He urges us to start small -- with things we already do. Like "feed the cat" or "brush teeth". Maybe "do 1 yoga pose" or "meditate for 10 minutes". This isn't about getting overly ambitious, then beating ourselves up for falling short of lofty goals (although we will all probably do a little of that). This is about gently easing in to new ways of being with our daily lives. Thirty days. To guide and assist in the process of allowing ourselves to get into alignment with our values. Gently create new habits for ourselves. If we miss a day or two, it's a sign to downshift and simplify the promises. Make 'em achievable -- enjoy the experience of daily success. This New Moon supports such an endeavor, so today I start.
Right now is all about the daily details. Mercury, the planets of thoughts and details -- and the ruler of this New Moon has been doing it's periodic backward dance, giving us a chance to review. Now, as it moves forward again and picks up speed, it's time to take action on what really works. We've thought, dreamed, planned for long enough. It's time to move forward. What does a "good day" look like in your life? Tomorrow, I'm going to have another good day. I'll do some exercises tonight, so that tomorrow morning I can start my day with a meditation and a few yoga poses. Then, vitamins and some eggs for breakfast. Then trot over to the farmer's market and get fresh fruits and veggies for the week ahead. Sign up for some yoga classes. Maybe do a little meal planning, so that feeding myself in a healthy way this week will be relatively effortless -- the major decisions already made. The daily choices matter. I'm striving to chose tea over Pepsi, yoga classes over Netflix, meditation over sleeping in and creative writing over (shamefully) still more Netflix. There are habits I need to trim away, and better ones I plan to implement. It will require a daily effort -- initially. Until one magical day, sooner than I expect, I'll find that I've created some new habits. I'm not out to change the world here, just striving to change how I experience my days. It's the right time to do all this, the New Moon smiles upon well-conceived new habits and routines -- and this new Moon is blessed with power and the divine support of the two stellar benefics. All in perfect time. May we all be blessed with creating beautiful days for ourselves and those we love.
What's a good day look like for you?