I recently shared a meme from Thomas the Tank Engine, wherein he surveyed the wreckage, with the immortal line of “Thomas had never seen such a mess.” It was surrounded by the usual mass mayhem mutterings and chaos of a Mercury in Retrograde that was enhanced by several other planetary happenings. I spoke with my astrologer friend who waxed eloquently about influences, houses and the like, and then he paused and said, “You float through retrogrades, don’t you?” Not that retrogrades don’t affect me (do you have a few hours to discuss technical issues?) but I have learned coping mechanisms through the years, and would like to share them now with you. Hope it helps!
Let go. Do I think there tends to be a mass hysteria about retrogrades? Sometimes, I do. There is a definite shift in energy during those time periods. The best way to deal with it is to simply let go. My favorite phrase is that “I let go of the roller coaster.” Know that feeling of being on the roller coaster, screaming, feeling that huge rush of adrenaline? Let go and let it be. As humans, we try to control our environment and life so very tightly. Does it ever work? No. Maybe it comforts us, but loosen that death grip for a few hours at least, and see what it feels like. When I travel, my trip doesn’t truly begin until I am at the airport. Want to know why? Because I am done packing, my bag is checked, and there is absolutely nothing else I have to focus on except for getting from point A to B. That feeling is freeing. There is really nothing else you can do. So let go. Enjoy that feeling.
Stay hydrated. Deep breathing. This is a two part exercise, and something I have to remind myself of constantly. Yet so many people don’t. Really focus on slowing your breath, and taking deep ones. Especially in tense situations, Drink lots and lots of water, and float away, knowing you are doing something healthy for your body.
Observe. My grandfather used to say talk less, and listen more. I was a chatterbox as a wee child, and I remember him saying that to me in an amused tone. It was a family motto, passed down to my mother (a fellow chatterbox) to me, and onward to my children. You don’t have to be part of every happening, and you don’t need to partake in every argument and discussion. Go deep within and observe instead. You’d be amazed at how many nuances you pick up in conversations and observations.
Meditate. Yes, take five minutes out of your day and focus. On your breath, a word, a poem, a tarot card. Quiet the chaos in your mind, so that you can deal with the chaos outside.
Perspective. Will what happens today affect you a year from now? Ask yourself that when you are caught up in the maelstrom of life. Most of the time, the answer is a resounding no.
Use your magic. I am fortunate enough to have access to all sort of magical tools where I work .We have a Mercury in Retrograde candle in three sizes, and I usually recommend people buy the “industrial” size. It helps. I light the candle, and anoint myself with the oil. The act itself is comforting, and my belief that these tools help shield and protect me works for my psyche. No different than wearing a special necklace, getting a protection tattoo, or anything else. It is an action that has meaning. Focus on that.
Get out in nature. Seems simple, right? Go to a park, hug a tree, walk barefoot in the grass. Being in nature grounds, protects and soothes you. Make the effort to get somewhere away from the noise, the endless Facebook posts, and dissent. It will make a difference.
Pick a mantra. I have several that work for me, and just repeating those words can be soothing. Not my circus, not my monkeys is one. This too, shall pass is another. What matters most is how well you walk through the fire (a favorite from Charles Bukowski). Words are empowering, so find some that make you feel that way.
Make lists. Like this one! Lists help me survive when the world seems chaotic. Things will slip my mind when I get distracted, and crossing things off not only show I am getting things accomplished, but it also feels very satisfying.
Take time for yourself. Indulge yourself. Stop worrying about your weight, your looks, and that tantalizing donut. One indulgence will not lead to more mass mayhem and chaos. And if it does, then get back to your disciplined self when you can. Life is short. Enjoy that treat.
Laugh. Watch a comedy, crack jokes with your best friends, dust off that Marx Brothers movie. Laughter relaxes you, relieves the stress, and points out life’s absurdities. Enjoy that.
And finally, this too shall pass. Time marches on, and if you have to put your head down and grimly get through this, then so be it. We humans are amazing and resilient. And delightfully magical. Send out your magic and see how that feels. Before you know it, the retrogrades will be over, and life will return to regularly scheduled programming.