Managing Your Anxiety During Corona Virus

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I’ve been making light about the panic around toilet paper and other supplies on my other social channels, but I must  admit, as a person who’s anxious, it was hard to keep things in perspective when out getting groceries today.

I am not a health professional, so please check all the tips I am about to give against your  own common sense, life circumstances and the advice of your doctors, the CDC and your local governments.

  1.  Renew your prescriptions IF THEY ARE LOW.  I have one medication that I take that has some serious withdrawal symptoms if I suddenly stop taking it.  If that’s the case with your medication and you have a week’s worth or less, you may want to consider calling in your refill and picking it up.
  2.   Social distancing does NOT mean isolation.  Facetime and Google Hangouts work.  Reaching out doesn’t mean you have to be in the same room with someone. Reach out, especially to those who are vulnerable.
  3. If you are out, be kind, polite and give people plenty of space.  Our healthcare workers, grocery workers, retail workers and many others are seriously overburdened at this time.  No yelling, shouting or snarky comments are going to make things any better.  Stress ups our susceptibility to disease.  Don’t stress yourself or others out.  Smiling improves your health.
  4. Get support if you are going through a hard time already.  If you are struggling with addiction, there are support groups online too.  If your usual meeting is canceled,  Virtual meetings of AA, Al-Anon and CODA groups are happening all the time, all over the world, and you don’t have to leave your home.  I also recommend Therapeer, an app.  Join me on Therapeer to receive peer emotional support, and to support others in need. Follow this link to get your own private support room for free:  https://www.therapeer.app/invite/xupg3
  5.   Try to keep up your healthy habits, even if your routines are disrupted.  There’s a treasure trove of exercise and yoga classes on YouTube.  It may help to keep up your morning routine even if you’re not commuting to work.
  6. Many of us are news junkies.  It is very important to keep up-to-date on what’s happening, but if you find the news is making you anxious, limit your time reading the news.  Check in the morning, noon and night only, and for short, designated times.  Consider a digital detox.
  7. If you’re bored, try something new.  Take an online class or take on a household project.
  8. Meditate and rest.  Can’t stress this enough.  During today’s grocery store gauntlet, I had to stop and do a quick grounding meditation because I was so unnerved by how under-stocked the shelves were.
  9. Focus on what IS going RIGHT.  Be grateful when stores are still open.  Say thank you to people working at this time, especially in customer service jobs.
  10. Remember and remind yourself of what you can control…and what you can ‘t.  You can control your attitude, your preparedness and your response to this situation as it unfolds.  You cannot control others.  You’re doing the best you can and that’s sometimes the only thing you can really do.
  11. Laughter is great medicine.  Watch a comedy or some stand-up on your TV.  It’s for your health!
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Venus in Pisces: Love is a Glamorous Prison with Sea Monsters

So many folks are excited about Venus in Pisces.  Yes,  it’s an ideal time for love.  Venus is in exaltation with Pisces, but my Capricornian caution needs to air out some stuff about Venus in Pisces.

Full Disclosure:  I have Venus in Pisces in my natal 10th.

I know this placement.  I walk this placement.

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First things first, look around you and think about a Pisces you’ve known.  A bestie?  A challenging teacher?  A parent?  An ex? How do you feel about them?  Good, bad or indifferent? With Venus in Pisces, that Pisces that you may have never even thought about or would have considered now has a touch of Venusian glamour–and friends, glamour is fleeting.  Cupid may have struck you with his little arrow, but that love wound may hurt and bleed once Venus moves out of Pisces.  Use your common sense.  If you have a bad past with a Pisces ex now may not be the time to revisit that relationship unless you’ve both done some major inner work.

Pisces is linked to Neptune and the Twelfth House.  Neptune is the planet of illusions.  Neptune is the planet of movie-making, of myths and of sacrifice.   There’s definitely a “risking it all for love” vibe floating around.  Now that’s lovely, but your mythic, epic lover-hero may have need to pass a credit and background check first.  Attend to the practicals.  We’re more likely to feel spiritually attuned to a mate, but “as above, so below”, so be sure to attend to the below, real world stuff!  Don’t make excuses for bad behavior because the target of your infatuation is healing his or her core spiritual wound.  Keep it real, even if it feels like a dream-come-true.  That’s Neptune, causing that dreaminess.

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The Twelfth House is also identified with the Latin word “carcer”, which means “prison”.  With Venus in Pisces, love is a prison–albeit a glamorous prison.  It’s very tempting with Venus in Pisces to create or consent to a little gilded cage for you and lovey.  This can be little rules and protocols that eventually become big co-dependency.  This can also feel like being taken hostage, especially if you’re in an unrequited love scenario, or waiting on someone to decide whether to commit or not.  There’s also some atonement here, or a debt that has to be repaid.  We go to prison because we owe a debt to society.  Spiritual debts become due and sometimes the repayment terms are not to our liking.  Unlike the Saturnian Tenth House, where we can clearly see the obstacles in our path, the Neptunian Twelfth House presents challenges that seem to surface seemingly from nowhere.  The truth is, the challenges were always there, we just were deluded into NOT acknowledging them, often because we failed to go deep enough.  When Venus is Pisces, it’s easy to mistake the charming Venusian surface for a deep, spiritual, transcendent connection if we are not present and aware.  Feel the love but keep those feet on the ground and your eyes and ears open!

The Twelfth House also rules our subconscious–and with Venus in Pisces, love is  like a deep ocean with some interesting sea monsters just floating around.  One minute, all is fine and well and the next minute you’ve discovered you’re in love with the Kraken.  The inner sea monster of bae becomes painfully visible, often without warning.  With Venus in Pisces happening while the sun is in Aries, be aware that the lover that may be charming and accommodating now may expect it to be all about them by late April.

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Venus in Pisces is a charmed time, in every sense.  Just because the stars have aligned though, doesn’t mean that you should lose yourself in love.  That’s exactly what the more toxic Venus in Pisces seems to want us to do–merge and enmesh completely with the beloved.  Look at the glyph for Pisces, though.  It’s two fish, close together, but not tethered, not caged, free to swim how they please, but choosing to swim together, and that’s what Venus in Pisces should be.  Now go find that swimming buddy!

Silence Is Not Always Golden

I’ve been talking more lately, and not because I’ve been feeling chatty.   I’ve realized how much I’ve kept under wraps and repressed to keep the peace and to just get along.  Frankly, it’s one of the worst things I’ve ever done to myself.  Silencing myself has been a huge burden.  I’ve been grieving.  I’ve been healing.  I’ve been shouldering some difficult situations that don’t have easy answers.

copy of copy of copy of copy of copy of copy of copy of body positivityThere’s a lot of good too, but I’ve realized in the past week that not all silence is golden.  Not all silence heals.  Sometimes, you have tell someone what you feel.  We all want to “look our best” at the expense of feeling our best and fessing up that there may be some issues.

One of the biggest things on my mind and my heart this week is remembering Fortuna.  She was diagnosed this time last year of renal lymphoma and in April, almost four months to the day later, she died.  Her death and issues around her death had me in a deep state of shock and denial.  I told few people she had actually passed.  I loved her so much and I couldn’t speak about her without being immobilized by grief, pain and anger.  fortuna and kristinCancer is a cruel disease and some of the circumstances I dealt with peripherally didn’t help either. I’ve been having a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help raise funds for research to help both people and pets who are suffering from this rare disease.  I still tear up each time I post about the fundraiser.  It’s okay.  Better a thousand tears than a mess of hardened, bottled up feelings.

Tuna was naturally very expressive.  She always would tell you what she wanted.  You didn’t have to guess.  She was not coy.  She didn’t hide what she thought.  So much of what is hurtful and damaging grows in silence.  We don’t acknowledge something someone said or did hurt and then it just becomes part of us somehow.  My silence magnified my pain.  I was getting harder and harsher as time went by because I was really angry.  I was angry at cancer for killing her and turned some of that anger on myself.

I am doing better now.  The tears are still there, but the what-ifs or what-could-I-have-done-betters are now mostly gone.  I got to a point of surrender–and if you know me, surrender is not an easy thing.  I’m used to winning..  I expect myself to overcome.  The word “surrender” is not a go-to for me, but it has been lately.  I’ve surrendered some of my pain, some of my angst by talking about it.  Talking about her life and her suffering has helped heal some of mine.

If you have something that’s burdening you, please get some help.  “Suffering in silence” may seem noble, but it can hurt too.  It can make your pain greater.  We all have problems to face and once you get in the habit of airing them out, the problems become more manageable.

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Silence is not always golden, but the love in our hearts is.  Speaking from the heart, even when it’s inconvenient, will always serve you better than pushing your feelings down.  I miss Tuna every day.  I miss her honest green eyes.  She not only saw people; she saw through them.  I miss they way she chewed my hair.  I missed her demanding things of me as a matter of course. Today and every day, ask you if your attitude of “put up and shut up” is really serving you, or if you may be hiding something you really need to heal.  Today, I am still healing from my loss of Tuna.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for caring.

 

 

Break the Ice to Break Career Barriers

HELLO MY NAME IS….

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We’ve all had a hard time breaking the ice and the pressure at conferences and networking events to make something happen can make it even more difficult.  How many times have you walked into a room for a professional event and just felt awkward?  We all have.

Is there a better way, or even a strategy to making the most of a networking opportunity?  Powerhouse networkers Judy Goss and Marie Fratoni have years of experience attending and putting on events.  They divulge their best advice on making the most of your next networking event and Judy discusses her upcoming conference, Spirit of Women, in Atlanta, October 7 & 8.

Judy Goss, high fashion model turned lifestyle journalism mogul, wanted to create a lifestyles networking experience.  Her networking group, What Women Want, now has chapters spanning the entire country.

Marie Fratoni, a master networker and founder of Get Clients Everywhere, elucidates the correlations between networking and sales.  She also discusses how important setting intentions are to having success at networking events and conferences.

Listen in to the broadcast for real, actionable tips to making your next networking outing a success!

We All Get Trapped in the Linen Cabinet

My day started off with a faint scratching.  It was cat claws on something, a milder version of the cringe-worthy nails-on-a-chalkboard sound.

“Catty, what are you doing?”

Nothing.  Silence.

I sip my coffee and begin to deal with notifications:  Facebook, Twitter, heaps of crap email.

That sound again.

“Catty, what ARE YOU DOING?”

I look around and no cat creating chaos.  I looked in on the cat box.  No cat creating a mess.  I looked around the living room where the cat sometimes rebels and poos anyway.  No mess.  I sit back down on the couch.

Nails-on-chalkboard sound.  CRINGE.

“Mercury?”

A faint mew.

“Mercury?”

I look around, doing a 360.  No cat in his usual spots.

“Mercury?”

A faint mew.

I open the linen cabinet.  Mercury, sitting atop a pile of towels, stares at me.  Somehow, when I was putting the towels away late last night, I had failed to notice he had gotten in there, and apparently spent the night there.  I had serious cat mom guilt.  I’ve spent most of the day hugging and petting this little guy.

I won’t be able to ascertain how long Mercury wanted to actually spend in the linen cabinet versus how much time he was actually trapped in there.   However, I’ve come to appreciate something very important.  Sometimes cries for help are faint.  It was that soft mew that led me to him.  If our furry friends have this issue, then certainly our human friends do too.  We have to be better listeners and curious listeners, not just listening for the sake of hearing, but listening for the sake of learning and hopefully, helping.

Everyone has their own linen cabinet.  For some it’s depression and for some, a rarely-spoken-of trauma.  Some spend a lot of time in the dark, just waiting for a door to open.  If you haven’t heard from someone in a while, are you listening closely enough?  Are you giving them space to be heard?