Dear Friends,

It rained a few days ago. Los Angeles always needs a good rain. It needs the reminder that the sun is not always out and sometimes you have to wear a raincoat. It needs an outward dance of the blues so that everyone living here has some relief from the constant dance of inner fret and outer blaze.

I have been wrestling for the last 24 hours. It’s one of those inner dances where one wants to throw in every towel owned and move somewhere remote. It’s a momentary ‘what’s it all about anyway?” It’s a quiet voice whispering for comfort and a louder voice bashing the need.

Sometimes I feel very courageous but mostly I feel like huge parts of me are still hiding. I think I’m afraid of major thresholds but I walk others through them all the time. I know I’m terrified of loss.

On a more concrete note, my life looks a little like this these days:

Tiny pieces of my right front tooth keep flaking off because I grind my teeth at night like I’m a grizzly bear. I won’t wear my mouth guard because I hate it. My dentist will fix my tooth but not without silent reprimand and absolutely no guarantee it will last more than an hour.

When I type, it sounds like I’m shooting a gun. I would bet my keyboard wears out in record time. I would bet if I were a key on my key board I would be begging for mercy. I would wish I was a Q.

My morning alarm sounds like a trumpet fanfare mixed with heavy metal. I lurch out of bed sure that something has gone terribly wrong. I have to sit still for a minute just to reduce my heart rate.

I have been late 10 times in my life. Okay, I’m making up that number but it’s something like that. I am never late. I am sweating in the car, biting my nails, cursing at stoplights but I am rarely, rarely late. I arrive 10 minutes early and sit in the car. I arrive half an hour early and walk around the block. I have sadly passed this on to my daughter who now starts to crack every knuckle in her hand if it looks like we might be late for school.

I wake up in the middle of the night and remember 3 people I was supposed to call the day before. I begin to silently punish myself for not doing so. I open the notes section on my phone and add to the on-going list. It brings me great joy to delete notes. It rarely happens.

I am the parent chair of a big fundraiser at my kids’ school but everyday I think “I should be doing more. I’m not doing enough. Everyone must think I’m a slacker.”

Get the picture? I live life at 11. (My husband loves to quote the movie Spinal Tap where Nigel Tufnel, the guitarist, proudly points to the volume knob on his amplifier and says “these go to 11.”)

Anyone else? Can I get a hallelujah? I know this “living at 11” isn’t everyone’s particular flavor. But perhaps most of us can relate to a sense of how life doesn’t stop these days and how it takes a tremendous amount of will and discipline just to take care of ourselves.

Most of this noise and fury isn’t even self generated. The volume of the election is beyond 11. The stories of how we are treating one another throughout the world feel like a daily Tsunami. There are too many crises. We’re absorbing it all and think there must be something terribly wrong in our own small lives. We’re all steeping in this intensity together.

So in this very moment, you find me ready to do something about it. I’ll put it this way: I’m quietly registering for the school of gentler living. I wish to be a student of living well. I am curious what it would feel like to consistently turn the volume down, take a step back or say no more often. Most days, I feel I am a failing and flailing and am doomed to repeat freshman year again and again. Some days I feel I know a thing of two.

I notice more these days when I am spinning out. I notice how I clench my jaw. I notice when I’m saying yes and inwardly shouting no. I notice how happy I am when I have a day with absolutely nothing on the calendar. I notice what it feels like to consciously take a deep breath.

I’m finally even making some doctor’s appointments and attending to things that my body has been requesting for quite awhile now. That feels good. That feels like I am stopping to mother myself instead of fathering my way through.

I’m wondering what the holidays would feel like if I entered them softly and with curiosity instead of swinging a shopping bat with a 10 foot check list in my hand. I am 100% certain that if I typed more lightly, changed my alarm to a lovely quiet piano and walked around the block once a day and maybe stopped to admire something beautiful, my life would begin to change. Yes. I want to live more gently, to receive the grace that is everywhere about but only if we pay attention. I want to sit with myself without agenda. I want time to slip through my fingers like flowers and trust nothing has been lost.

Oh, and I’d like it to rain a little more often.

I stop breathing when I even read the word. Fail. It’s not allowed. Something in me shores up and says “Salvage it. Salvage it at all costs.” My breath stops short and I crinkle my brow. It has to be good. It has to be great. It has to be whole. It has to fly, run, soar. I’m the task master, the precise conductor, the tyrannical director of my life. Do it right. Do it well. Don’t disappoint. Show up strong. Don’t crack. And don’t let anyone know if you feel the ship is sinking.

But here now,with you, I’m going to invite myself into a warehouse. It looks like the one in the movie Flashdance — the one which, the moment I saw it those many years ago, made my heart melt with longing. Someday I would live there. Someday I would dive in — in my solitude — dive in to CREATE. So, let’s go into that warehouse which already makes me feel a little soft and quivery.

Let it be empty. Sure, throw in the ballet bar where Jennifer Beals practiced night and day. But other than that, let the walls be white. Maybe a few huge pillows on the floor. Oh and let there be boxes and boxes of empty books and canvases and paints and pens and chalk and markers and amazing images for collage and glue. And come in with me as I start writing on the walls. Let there be a ladder so I can climb up and write high. Let me cross things out with flair and start again and let the remnants of what didn't work have a place in the grand design.

Come with me as we sit on the floor and scribble. Or maybe let’s finger paint, hand paint, paint all over every bare part of our bodies. Let’s roll around in it. Let’s even get it in our hair and then forget about what most everyone would call the canvas. Let’s see what happens then.

Oh and let’s turn the music up. Loud. Let’s sing. Let’s dance between stanzas on the wall or paint on the floor. Let’s take a nap in the middle of the mess.

Let’s not say “Oh I love that. That’s cool. Oh how beautiful.” Let’s just sit with whatever we create like its a friend who we love that sometimes drives us crazy. We’ll always hang out. We don’t need to make a big deal about it. We just need to hang out and say something every now and then. Sometimes what we talk about will be stupid and boring but we’ll just talk ourselves out and then eat a big grilled cheese — maybe a brie grilled cheese with red grapes and thick bread and we’ll forget what we just did or said because the grilled cheese will be so gooey and good.

I want to hang out in my Flashdance Warehouse a lot more often. And maybe put on that ridiculous welding mask she wore so we would all think how incredibly cool she was — but now it would just be ridiculous. It would be good for me to just be ridiculous and say whatever comes to mind without the need to be wise or calm or perceptive-- just sloppy and nerdy and still talking about Flashdance 30 years later.

I want vast amounts of space to fail and flail and dance and rage and then just laugh goofily like all that dark wild flinging is just another drop in the bucket. Why do we take it all so seriously anyway? I just want to fail and flail, loosey-goosey, gorgeous messy, happy happy happy.

Big love to you, Heidi Rose


The Sun moves into Virgo today, August 22nd at 9:38 am pacific time. Virgo is an earth sign —practical, analytical and meticulous. It is also the sign that rules right work and true service. In other words, it is a sign under which we find and explore our truest devotion. A Virgo knows how to work from morning to night. But the refinement of the Virgo energy requires that the work done is work infused with the heart’s devotion and purpose.

Give a Virgo a physical task to accomplish and she will accomplish it with efficiency, speed and precision. But this efficiency could also be completely devoid of feeling. The opportunity of Virgo is to allow everything and everyone we touch to be changed for the better as a result of that touch.

I remember the day my beloved friend and teacher, Sofia Diaz, said that our hands are extensions of our heart, that our fingers are like paint brushes for the love we can extend. It blew my mind and made all the feeling sense in the world. When we close our open palm into a fist, we close off the flow of loving energy streaming through our heart to our hands. An open palm in a hand shake or touch is an extension of goodwill, love, offering.

During Virgo, we all have an opportunity to think about TOUCH. What and how do you want to touch? Can you imagine touching everything in the world as if you were touching a baby or someone you loved beyond measure? Can you imagine extending that degree of love to inanimate and animate objects alike?

What about our thoughts? Virgo brings extraordinary intelligence as one of its gifts. What does Intelligent love look like? Or loving intelligence? Can our thoughts touch or reach others with greater care, devotion or compassion? One of the great traps for those of us with strong Virgo energy is a strong critical or judgmental eye. Virgo knows what needs to be fixed and how to fix it. But the fixing must be purposeful and in the name of a greater good or it simply becomes an obsessive exercise in cleaning and organizing the material world.

Don’t get me wrong. Health, cleanliness and order are deeply important in our world. But it’s easy, under Virgo, to lose sight of why we do what we do. At the deepest level and in the name of the greatest good, what can we help to perfect or purify? How can we lovingly help another to be more healthy— physically, emotionally or mentally? How can we refine without harshly criticizing (internally or externally)?

How can we touch the world with our thoughts, feelings or very hands with greater compassion and feeling?

Take a day and pay attention to how you touch everything. Notice how you feel when you touch. Choose to touch in a new way. When you go to sleep tonight or wake up tomorrow, take your own hands and cover every inch of your own body with your own heart’s love — as if you were painting a great canvas of care.

Be. In. Love.

Heidi Rose

********************************************** I Come Home Wanting To Touch Everyone Stephen Dunn

The dogs greet me, I descend into their world of fur and tongues and then my wife and I embrace as if we’d just closed the door in a motel, our two girls slip in between us and we’re all saying each other’s names and the dogs Buster and Sundown are on their hind legs, people-style, seeking more love. I’ve come home wanting to touch everyone, everything; usually I turn the key and they’re all lost in food or homework, even the dogs are preoccupied with themselves, I desire only to ease back in, the mail, a drink, but tonight the body-hungers have sent out their long-range signals or love itself has risen from its squalor of neglect. Every time the kids turn their backs I touch my wife’s breasts and when she checks the dinner the unfriendly cat on the dishwasher wants to rub heads, starts to speak with his little motor and violin– everything, everyone is intelligible in the language of touch, and we sit down to dinner inarticulate as blood, all difficulties postponed because the weather is so good.

#astrology #virgo

© 2020 Heidi Rose Robbins

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