Artwork by Fran Rodríguez
By Lindsey Pearson
Call it string theory, call it chakras, call it “The Force” but there are energetic fields around us. You know the sensation when you walk into a room and “feel” the tension? Or when you can tell someone is looking at you? That. Suffice to say there is energy emitted from all things and we as humans feel their subtle (or not so subtle) pull.
Recently there have been a few energetic doozies: There was a full moon/eclipse, a few planets went retrograde (moving backward), and it’s hotter than Hades.
A little background: We are aware that the moon impacts water like the ocean tides, and are made of 70% water, so it stands to reason that we are impacted as well. Retrogrades are said to affect technology and communication, like dropped calls and missing emails. When it’s 90+ degrees hot, it can be hard to breathe, move or do much of anything. Mood swings, poor communication, and lack of oxygen…
So how to survive when energy/The Force is not aligning?
Share about it
I recently posted on Instagram about my retrograde experience and received an abundance of comments from people who were going through the same thing. I went to a goodbye party and the co-workers were all sharing what a particularly tough week it was. A Jet Blue rep even had a laugh with my mom over their booking glitches once he heard about the retrograde. Shared experiences, even painful ones, are some of the most powerful bonding tools we have as humans. It’s what bonds soldiers, but also what bonds colleagues and people in recovery. It creates connection and compassion knowing you’re not alone.
Use your tools
Situations beyond our control can make us feel…wait for it…out of control. The acronym HALT— Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired — is an abbreviation of the emotional and physical states that can often lead to poor coping mechanisms such as overeating, isolation, and substance abuse which usually result in feeling worse, not better. Becoming aware that you’re in one (or more) of these states is helpful in course-correcting.
When I start to spin out, I return to a few go-tos: meditation, essential oils, deep breathing and talking to my highest self and/or a Higher Power. Each of these tools have been used cross-culturally for thousands of years. There is a reason for that: they work. Prayer, meditation, aromatherapy, and going to the gym help to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) and increase endorphins (happiness hormones). And in the words of Legally Blond’s Elle Woods, “Happy people don’t shoot their husbands!” Creating art, writing, or going for a walk are all great options. Find something that soothes.
Pause, Pause, Pause
This weather and mood could make Mother Theresa cuss someone out. When someone stops in the middle of the sidewalk to text, it can feel good, even cathartic, to, paraphrasing my friend Ashley, “climb up on my high horse and ride it to the land of superiority.” Political posts on Facebook, family gatherings, Tinder ghosting provide ample justification. It’s so easy to pick the low hanging fruit of self-righteous anger. Judgment is easy, we are wired for it as a part of our self-preservation. It’s a lot harder to look for and find compassion. To ask yourself, what If i believed the opposite were true? What if that person who stopped on the street just learned she had cancer? What if that unanswered text from your date was because he/she never got yours? Or what if the people posting vile comments were allowing you to flex your compassion muscles so you wouldn’t become as hateful as they were? Pausing to ask yourself these questions pulls us out of the triggered fight or flight state and allows us a more empowered response.
Ironically, Mercury in retrograde has actually been at times positive and even joyful. I don’t take missed communication as personally. I have been more mindful with what I say and apologizing when I am not. I have been extra diligent in confirming details and travel, allowing for missteps. I have even laughed at the fails, including a $2k invoice that never went through. It’s not personal. It’s planetary.
Lindsey Pearson is the Founder of Do You Mind(Fully)? a holistic wellness company. Utilizing the tools of Mindfulness Meditation, Yoga and Essential Oils, Lindsey aims to reduce stress by cultivating more engagement and presence in our lives. Her approach is evidence-based and relatable, with a heavy dose of humor. She has worked with clients such as the Central Park Conservancy Board, The Department of Education, and Deutsch Advertising and Blue Apron, as well as hedge fund managers, busy moms, and anxious teenagers.
Lindsey is a Kripalu Yoga and Yoga4Cancer trained teacher, she was rated #2 Meditation Coach in NYC by Thumbtack Professional in 2015 and 2016, respectively.