Today is Autumn Equinox, a time of sacred balance between the light + dark, sky + earth, masculine + feminine. This happens every year on the day the sun enters Libra, the sign of the scales.
Balance is a deep + meaningful theme that I have been immersed in from a spiritual perspective over the past six years - in particular, the balance between the yin + yang, or feminine + masculine aspects of ourselves (and in partnership).
Autumn Equinox is traditionally a time where we do two things: celebrate everything that we have manifested in our lives (i.e. what are we grateful for?) AND simultaneously turn towards those things that may not be working, so that we can prepare to enter the dark half of the year in deep reflection and contemplation (i.e. facing our shadows).
Can you do both? Can you hold each of these opposing energies in your body - the celebration and pure gratitude of everything + everyone around you, while also being able to clearly see that which has not served you?
This takes courage, because often it includes an aspect of ownership to accept the things that we have participated in creating that just aren't working anymore.
And releasing those things with love.
This is a great time to do shadow work, begin therapy, spend some deep time in meditation, journaling, spiritual practice, connecting to your intuition, going on retreats, scheduling lots of rest/down time, self-care, reading, etc.
If we don’t honor this time of reflection that nature has literally embedded in the seasons (and in our bodies), we are out of alignment with what the universe is calling us to embrace - this sacred cycle of building + releasing, creation + destruction, death + rebirth. We must welcome it all.
Always focusing our energy outwards on what we want to manifest without ever checking in with ourselves on how it’s going - on whether what we are manifesting is actually serving us in the highest way - is problematic.
And yet it symbolizes this imbalance in our culture where we are SO focused on productivity and the hustle, without slowing down, going inwards, and reflection on our lives.
It's symbolic of the imbalance between the masculine + the feminine.
This doesn't only lead to physical burnout, but it also keeps the same patterns playing out over and over that are embedded in our shadows, because we are not focusing on (or we are trying to suppress) the dark parts of ourselves that we’d prefer not to look at.
Some of us are really good at facing our shadows. We are very motivated to tackle them and make them better. Others are not very good at this, we have avoidance tendencies and fear around facing our shadows. It's all good, but awareness is key.
Be gentle with yourself and go at your own pace, as long as you are honoring this time of the year in SOME way - just understanding the energetics of this time of the year can make an impact.
Your body knows the way, it wants to pull inwards and slow down as the days get shorter and the light wanes.
Follow that deep inner knowing.
One very simple way that you can do this in ritual is to make some time for yourself tonight (even 20 minutes would suffice) to get quiet, go inwards, and journal about the following:
What is working, and what's not working in the following areas of my life?
Light a candle, do some breathwork, dance, make it holy. Whatever feels good to you.
Really feel into the gratitude and celebration of what's working in each area, and use the reflections on what isn't working to create some intentions on how you'd like your life to shift there.
Ritual does not have to be complicated. Once you are connected to the deeper purpose of why this is sacred, you make it your own.
I'd love to hear anything that comes up for you after this process - feel free to reply to this email and let me know.
Sending Equinox Blessings,
The Key to High Level Romantic Relationships
Resentment is the #1 poison that impacts romantic relationships, and here is one of the keys to avoiding it.
You MUST make the time and space to regularly bring up anything in the relationship that is not feeling good to you.
1) Courage on the part of both people.
2) A safe space in the relationship to bring things up.
3) Clarity on how you would like to be treated (your boundaries AND your deepest desires).
4) A belief that this relationship is so important that it is an absolute disservice NOT to bring it up.
5) A belief that romantic relationship provides the opportunity for you + the other person to rise into your highest selves, and that you can rise to the occasion of becoming the best human you can be through this relationship.
Conscious, open, healthy communication in relationships is SO key. Do not take this as an opportunity to dump things on the other person, shame them, or point fingers. Express yourself from the place of loving the relationship SO much that you need to clear the air in order to evolve the partnership into the highest version possible.
How does it feel inside your body when you think about bringing something up in your relationship that doesn't feel good to you?
We are currently trying to out-yell each other in our society.
Does power and respect always have to come from a place of being loud and domineering? Can softness + quietness be honored? Can we collectively question who gets the most attention, for our highest good?
Right now showing up to be seen and heard is a huge + necessary theme. And as someone who has healed pretty debilitating social anxiety, I can tell you that in the beginning stages of unraveling that, I thought I had to be really loud and big.
While that was certainly part of my journey, today I am listening deeply to my body and what feels good for me. And often times when I feel most connected to my most authentic self, I am a quiet + soft spoken person.
I was told countless times from childhood to speak up. But what if it's not necessary for us to be the loudest person in the room? What if you, as the listener, actually needs to slow down and quiet yourself in order to hear ME?
It's that quality of deep listening that we are truly lacking in our culture today.
From a young age I connected to the more Eastern philosophy that the quieter personality type was actually more wise. I am still to this day triggered by others who are loud and take up a lot of space. It's actually not that I think you don't have the RIGHT to be heard and to take up space. It's the WAY it is sometimes done that bothers me - when it feels like the person is one upping everyone around them AND are too self-centered to notice others that deserve to be seen + heard too, even if they aren't the loudest people in the room. How can we make space for everyone's unique expressions?
Rather than saying one way of being is wrong and the other is right, I am interested in embodying my full expression. There are days where it feels good to be loud and wild. Truly, I've had to expand my own definition of who I am, identity-wise. Women are cyclical and NOT linear, and this is a gift that I've embraced. But today I noticed powerfully that I hadn't fully loved my soft and quiet side until just now :)
What does this bring up for you?
We have the opportunity to open to pleasure way more than we allow ourselves to.
In any given moment, we can shift our awareness to the present moment and experience life as fully as possible through all of our senses.
We can eat food slowly, savoring every bite and feeling enormously grateful.
We can take the time to caress our own skin, hair, and body with love and tenderness.
We can put clothes on that feel amazing on our skin.
We can listen to beautiful music that uplifts and nourishes us.
We can go outside and breathe in the trees, sun, sky, and plants.
We can notice and appreciate moments of joy as they arise, and learn to deepen and expand that experience - to allow ourselves to be in that state for much longer than we normally would.
We can look deeply into our lover's eyes, seeing them at a soul level and loving them profoundly.
So given that humans are naturally wired towards pleasure and wanting to feel good, why don't we do this more often? Why do we continually cut ourselves off from this experience?
One reason is that our collective self worth is so tied to constant busyness. It simply doesn't allow us to slow down and savor every moment we are here.
I want to live life much, much more slowly. Don't you?
photo via @twothirdshoney
Leigh-Anne is a psychologist based in Los Angeles specializing in next-level love, sex, and relationships. She is the founder of Feminine Rising, a global community for women. You can find her on Instagram @feminine__rising