Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Libran Aries Idealism

While the Virgos are known to be perfectionists, the Librans and Aries are the true perfectionists of all signs. The Virgo perfectionism involves correcting, re-calibrating, fixing things so that they fit a certain “order”, a standard definable easily within the human reality. The Libran / Aries’ perfectionism lies outside of human reality. It involves achieving an ideal beyond what’s normally achievable in human life. Hence this type of perfectionism is better described as idealism. Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines idealism as “a literary or artistic theory or practice that affirms the preeminent value of imagination as compared with faithful copying of nature (compare realism)” or “a theory that ultimate reality lies in a realm transcending phenomena”. As both definitions suggest, idealism involves a realm beyond practical, mundane existence. Being idealistic may breed ambition and inspire one to achieve great things. Idealists may be servants of Spirit leading and led through battlefields who die heroic deaths and leave a stubborn mark in history (Joan of Arc is an example!). Yet when facing the sometimes harsh reality of life, an idealist can easily fall flat on his face.

Astrology, besides, being the study of the correlation between movements of planets and human behavior and fate, is really a study of life, as behind the surface meanings of each commonly discussed zodiac sign, (eg. I’m a Libran if I’m born in October, you’re an Gemini if you’re born in June etc..), lies great truths about existence depicted through the archetypal essences or stories of each sign.

The sign of Libra, for example, depicts the ideal of equality and fairness. Its symbol is the object of a balance. Yet, balance or fairness is not easily found in our world where every individual, for better or worse, has within its capacity, the ability to exercise a large degree free will which may be driven by anything from greed, fear, lust, or more positively, love and cooperation. The fact that the majority of human population is living in poverty, the fact that there are people dying from accidents and horrible diseases, (and probably good percentage are normal good people who have not done much harm to another human being in their lives). And even if you believe in incarnation and therefore believe that every circumstance has arisen from a cause, a cause which, however enlightened you may be, still escapes your conscious awareness, while the effect, when you have to experience it, still feels like utter misery, life, still probably cannot really be deemed to be that “fair”. And if such is the case, holding a paradigm that life needs to be fair can be quite a hard hit for a person psychologically. Yet, if we’re willing to realize that life isn’t always fair, and that it is alright to hold grudge, have contempt, be resentful, immerse in a whole lot of grumpy, distasteful moods, get down right real and just let yourself be sad, upset, angry and so forth, when a so called “unfair” experience arises, then perhaps you’ll discover that, at the end of it all, life is actually, not so difficult, and at times, pretty fair. The reason you’ll start to think that life may actually be quite fair is because, through such an experience, hopefully, it’ll force you to grow and expand in some way, the purpose behind you may give you some fuel to transcend that place within you that yelled "life is unfair!". You’ll start to be able to intuit into the root cause of the misery you have somehow thrown yourself into, and realize the perfect formula to get yourself out of it, to take a little more responsibility for yourself. If you’re ill, maybe you’ll start to pay more attention to your health, love your body a bit more, and having suffered, cultivate more compassion for others’ people’s vices and pain.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Love, Loss and Happiness

In life, we may experience many incidents of loss. We experience a sense of loss when we move from one situation or phase to another. We may feel a sense of loss graduating from school, from assuming a new identity being in the workforce vs. being a student. We may experience a sense of loss after we experience a breakup in a relationship, or from being single to being married or becoming a mother. Psychologically, we experience deep loss growing up in different phases of our aging journey. As with all things in life, the day something is born, it is moving towards its death. Life is a never-ending cycle of growth, change, birth and death. As we evolve through the different ‘milestones’ of our life, we have the opportunity to become more creative, more vibrant, live more dynamically, with more wisdom, more love, more understanding, cuz' experiences have the power to cause our psyche to expand, to integrate an understanding of the greater mystery of life; yet it can only happen if we're willing to keep our heart open.

Recently, I’ve experienced some interesting coincidences which brought light to a situation in my life. Within a short period of several weeks, I met up with two friends (who I have not been in touch with for several years) separately, and both shared with me over a brief lunch, how they have had to communicate with a past lover from (both with whom they had broken up with more than 8 years ago) and the interaction, for one of them, brought back old unhappy emotions while the other has been unhappy for a prolonged period of time and the communication (after 8 years!) helped her finally move on. Coincidentally, I’ve also been in touch with a boyfriend from the past (again many many years ago) and had experienced a re-surfacing of old unhealed pain through such contact. The pain which I have run away from many years ago re-surfaced and I now have no place to hide but to face it and make the best use of it as possible. Another coincidence of this is that, exactly 12years ago, which is the length of a Chinese astrology cycle, was exactly the time of the onset of such emotions, even the timing of the months coincided with the time they re-surfaced this year! A while ago, I was re-reading one of my Chinese astrology books and I learnt that, according to astrology, what we sow in one point of time, will manifest in another point in time according to specific time cycles. What I have not learnt to face or cope with as a teenager (12 years ago!) I’m learning to face and accept now. The emotions that surfaced felt so fresh it is as if everything had only just happened like yesterday! Having said that, this does not mean I should let myself immerse in the painful emotions. The emotions only had to re-surface because I had not fully grown from the experience from which they were sourced. As much as negative emotions don’t make you feel great, they serve us also in some way. Our pain can lead us to our wisdom, our strength, our compassion, our healing. With every loss, there is also probably a gain. Perhaps we lose a bit of our naivete (or a lot of it for some?) from being young, and gain a lil’ more wisdom from an adult life of toiling in the outerworld of achievements and glamour. We may lose the love, fun, pleasure and drama of being in a relationship but gain a lil’ more autonomy, a dash of loneliness (i'm being sarcastic but loneliness can't be so bad either!) and more freedom from being unattached. With the loss of a loved one (were it a death), the sense of loss can be truly overwhelming; yet if one can holistically move through the grieving process (please seek help if you are stuck!), we may gain a deeper reverence, understanding and greater cherishment for life.

And guess what, happiness is always a by-product of any experience, if you’re willing to let each experience touch you in your heart.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Soul Mate Love

The esoteric domains of life discusses a type a soul mate relationship where two people meet to set off a spiritual transformation synonymous to alchemy. The alchemical process set off is one which touches deep parts of either beings’ inner psyche able to bring about a profound elevation of one’s consciousness towards the path of self-realization.

This type of soul mate relationship is not necessarily the kind that “last” til’ the end or involve two individuals “living happily ever after”. These soul mates come into our lives to help us face parts of ourselves we have not previously faced, and as a result we’re changed, honed, forced to grow to new levels of consciousness about ourselves and about life. They touch our hearts at a profound level, opening us to experiencing greater levels of unconditional love. They show us the dark parts within ourselves we have not previously dared to face. The deep exchanges of love that occur between soul mates leave both parties transformed, quite similar to the process of developing diamond, where extreme pressure of heat over time is required to bring about the formation of a highly endurable rock. The exchange of love is synonymous to the heat, pressure and time (and this could be fast, not necessarily taking long time, or it could take long time) needed to hone pre-diamond rock into its enduring product, synonymous to the quality of being, strength of character we develop as our hearts open. Love is a process which brings consciousness to life, with greater consciousness, self-mastery is possible.

So how does the exchange of love between soul mates bring about such profound changes? Soul mates are perfect mirrors for each other at the time of encounter. They vibrate at a very similar level. When one meets the other, parties find hidden parts of themselves they have not yet met within themselves, calling them to embrace those dismembered aspects of themselves, which result in an integration of energies that cause them to becoming more complete within ourselves. Sometimes parties are not conscious of this process. Yet over time, depending on the level of spiritual maturity either party is at, the growth occurs regardless.

If you think of life as a never-ending path of growth to learning about love, whether through trials or adversities or through beautiful experiences, you can think of soul mate encounters as one event that serves a similar purpose.
Recently I have had the ‘blessed’ experience of meeting a soul mate who has exactly brought about what I discuss above. Coinciding with my Saturn return, I met this man that was quite a mirror for me. My emotional buttons were badly pushed, yet over time, I was able to leverage the energetic exchange to accept some parts of myself that I have not previously been open to. In retrospect, I am grateful for the spiritual experience of meeting a soul mate during this time of my life.
In life, we may meet many of these “soul mates”, depending what our souls have set us up to experience, what may be required for us to learn love. We may also have “partners” where we grow, love, enjoy our lives with. From my experiences, I came to realize that no experience is good or bad. Every experience has its positive and negative side. It is up to you, the ‘experiencer’, to decide for yourself what is the good and bad within each experience. You are the camera lens which determines the quality of your experience. All energies exist in polarities. We can change any negative experience into a positive one through aligning ourselves with right perspective.

Love is process of understanding, growth and self-realization, as Love is the essence of Self. Love deepens our experience with life. It helps anchor us deeper in life. In New Age jargon, it gets us very “grounded”. Our senses sharpen as we become more grounded in the physical, and as a result, we are able to give and receive love at any given moment more freely. We are able to experience the full spectrum of our senses, spanning from the more refined qualities of love emanating from our heart centers, to fulfilling our needs for sensual pleasures that come from food, comforts, sex. We have less expectations on life, on ourselves and hence on others. With less expectations, we can more readily open ourselves to truth within any given situation.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturn Return

In the astrological birthchart, saturn return is the time when transiting saturn returns to natal saturn's position. One cycle of saturn (around the chart) takes approximately 28-30 years. Saturn return can be both a challenging and rewarding time. Saturn is the lord of time. With Saturn return, our lessons involve us facing the finiteness of life which often forces us to come to terms with issues that may be holding us back to living life more fully. Saturn reminds us that life functions under the constraints of time. Feelings/thoughts like, "we only have one life to live, how should we really live our life?" may surface during our Saturn return. Hence this is often a time of change for many people to come to realize that the life that they have chosen to live, the way they have chosen to live, may not be in alignment with the bigger picture of how and who they want to be. Do you want to continue staying in a relationship that you no longer feel a spark in or are not in full alignment with where you see yourself to be in the future? Do you want to continue being in a profession that may not be in alignment with who you are? Do you want to move out or live in a different location? Many of these questions will come up as we are called to face the many unresolved knots in our hearts that we have had the liberty to ignore during the years before our Saturn return.

Unresolved issues from past relationships with lovers, friends, enemies, loved ones may also re-surface. We are once again called to make decisions on how we want to carry our lives forward. Do we want to continue carrying the baggages we have carried for the past 28-30 years of our lives, or do we want to let them go and become more of who we are not only from a function of our past conditionings but from a deeper place in our heart that may promise greater happiness and fulfillment? Are we willing to sever some ties, let go of some addictions (behavioural or substance-related, of which both often take root in a psychological addiction), or take a leap of faith into the unknown? All are questions that our Saturn return may wash up to the shore. Saturn, being the Lord of time, is also the Lord of Karma, with Karma being a universal law which takes effect over time. Karma says nothing more than that which we have planted we shall reap in time. What we have planted include both actions and mental imprints. Our thoughts lead to our feelings which lead to our actions. What we do we are, what we think we are. Our thoughts, feelings, actions cannot be separate from us, as All flow from our beingness or existence. We are everything we say, we express, we do, we think, and feel. Resolving karmic issues is like finishing a chapter in a book so that we can graduate to learn or experience something of a more advanced nature. In this case, our life lessons make up the chapters and moving forward from our life lessons often signal change, liberation and greater self-responsibility.

Saturn, being the ruler of Capricorn, is a very grounding energy, the energy which brings things (ie. ideas) into form. If you have planted thoughts and put effort in the past into creating something important to you your Saturn return will be a time of reaping rewards. It is a time when the practical groundwork is finally laid from which you can build your lofty dreams. Saturn asks you to be realistic, to be practical and think through clearly what it is you exactly want and how you can fully bring it into fruition. It asks for a firm resolution. Make use of this time to clarify your desires, but first let go of unhealthy patterns and ties. Saturn will both help you set in whatever foundation it is required to live out your greater goals and life desires. The practicality of Saturn will pull from you your greatest resources, making full use of you such that you can make full use of your time in your life.

Let Saturn be your teacher, your coach, your guide and your burning lamp on your path to more love, happiness and freedom.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Remembering the days when the wind blew in my face, when the screeching noises of car caressed my ears…

Remembering the days I opened my eyes and frost covered my windows my window blinds flapping by the glass…

Remembering the days sipping hot chocolate standing by the food stand ordering breakfast on my way to class…

Remembering the days I entered the sports hall with my bathing suit bag hearing the sound of bouncing balls and screeching sound of running shoes on the basketball court next door…

Remembering the days when I walked up many flights of stairs nonstop barely catching my breath to arrive at the door with many postcards of random places…

Just remembering the moments that have passed but vividly lived. Remembering I have lived and continue to breathe and am alive. Remembering I am human. Remembering I am spirit living in body, blessed with everything I have, every experience I have experienced, every opportunity to love, every opportunity to fall, to be hurt, and to heal and walk again. Knowing that no experience in life is any less than another experience. Knowing that each moment is all we have and that breath is our timekeeper. With the breathing of each breath, is the ticking of each second passing. No time is wasted. It is always lived.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Narnia - Crossing the Veil

I’m not writing a movie commentary here but I realize there are many lessons from the movie Narnia that are worth discussing and sharing. Personally I felt that my past three years exploring spirituality and myself is exactly the same (metaphorically) as what happened in the movie Narnia. The theme of crossing the veil into dream wonderland and returning to everyday reality with a deepened understanding of life, a renewed perspective and wisdom is analogous to one’s journey to find oneself.

Something for you to ponder… a quote from Claudio Naranjo (well-known psychotherapist enneagram teacher) based on Zen teachings:

“As a Zen story puts it, at the beginning of the journey the trees look like trees, the mountain looks like a mountain and the lake looks like a lake. In the middle of the journey the trees do not look like trees any more, the mountain does not look like a mountain, and the lake looks like a lake. But at the end of the journey the trees look like trees, the mountain looks like a mountain, and the lake looks like a lake. At beginning of the journey there is the pseudosanity of a merely intellectual knowledge that mountains are mountains, and the price of the rational view upon all personality is that of functional mutilation. In the middle of the journey there is acknowledged delusion and confusion. At this stage we can distinguish two avenues to the transformation of delusion into reality, compatible with each other and both present as components in a given approach.” - One Quest, Claudio Naranjo

Through experiencing the transient nature of reality by going beyond the everyday mundane reality can we then realize the deeper meanings of reality and life itself. The concept of life being an illusion, which forms the basis of core Buddhist teachings, can be understood and experienced through a deep journey within, into the veils of the unconscious, the unknown, or what some might call the psychic aspects of reality. Once one has moved beyond our five senses to experience that which is beyond the five senses, we gain wisdom and knowledge accessible through contacting the world not readily available to the conditioned and rational mind. This crossing of the veil is exactly what happens in the movie Narnia when the characters all crossed over to the magical land Narnia and through battling with the evil White Witch, saves Narnia from her long reign in winter.

Physical pilgrims or retreats also hold similar significance. (Although pilgrims probably hold greater spiritual significance given their more ritualized nature, the length of time of the pilgrim and the intent behind the act of going on a pilgrim from historical practices). Taking time out from our routine everyday life gives us that space to get in touch with parts of ourselves which are normally denied through mental pressures to conform or behave in ways that are not always in congruence with our deeper drives and desires and needs. Do you need to take a break?

When one returns from the other side (this doesn’t normally apply to just taking a break from routine life), it is as if everything that happened was a dream, yet the dream feels to many, as real as this reality. Perhaps the other side is even more real. And we become enlightened to our true nature. We remember who we are.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Follow Your Heart

A desire is fulfilled the moment it arises within you. It is against universal law to not have what we want. Yet, why is it that so many of us aren’t getting what we want or are getting what we don’t want? Perhaps the biggest problem is not that we cannot have what we want, it is that we do not truly know what we want. Success coach Anthony Robbins says, “Clarity is power”. When we are clear with ourselves what we want, the path naturally opens, whatever we want naturally comes.

I remember several incidences in my life where this is true. Many years ago, before I knew any of this universal law stuff, I suddenly started to really want a pug. My first dog Bobo had passed away for about 2 years, and for the first time after her passing, I wanted another dog. Specifically I wanted a pug. I guess I have always loved pugs. I tend to like dogs that have ugly funny faces, I find them so adorable that I literally drool over them. So for many days I started to feel a strong desire to have a pug, it was a heartfelt desire that had no strings attached. I wasn’t worried about not getting one, nor did I think over the consequences of having one or when I should have one. I simply felt a tug in my heart to have one. I remember for many days I would tell my friends that I really want a pug. Back then, work was too busy I didn’t bother to look for one either. I wanted one but I wasn’t intending to go find one. Then within a few days, my friend sent me a photo of this puppy pug that someone was giving away and I thought, might as well check her out!! The first time I saw Bee Bee (now my dog) she was an ugly, bony and grumpy dog who would not let you get close to her without attempting to snap at you. Well, the story went that mom and I decided to take her in and Bee Bee has now transformed into a plump, happy, and sometimes snappy pug but a very good-looking one. There’s a saying, “whatever comes unexpected is a gift from God..” Bee Bee certainly is!

Several months ago I kept feeling that I want to work more. At first I thought maybe I’ll be attracting more work opportunities either in the areas of spiritual therapies or starting new businesses of which I was contemplating at that time. The feeling continued yet outer circumstances did not provide much new work. In fact my spiritual healing work was dwindling and I was starting to wonder within myself whether I should be doing additional promotional work or further studies to take it further. Not long after, I had yet another rather transformational inner experience and few days after that, I began to really want to go back to finance. Of everything I thought I would want to do, finance was the last thing that was in mind before that. Not wanting to make any impulsive decisions, I decided to just sit out my feeling on that, and for many days and weeks after, I continued to want to go back into finance and in fact the feeling got stronger and stronger. Practicing what I practice, I always believe that as long as you’re aligned with your deepest heartfelt desire, you’ll always be where you need to be so I wasn’t in the least bit concerned with outer market conditions so that didn’t enter the equation of my thought process. I knew if I wanted a job, the job will land. And so it did, within less than one week of me writing the list of criteria I wanted in my new job, the opportunity literally landed on my lap. My ex-colleague, knowing that I was exploring the possibility of re-entering Private Equity, informed me of an attractive job opening and I immediately took action. With nearly zero effort (basically I made one phone call to that company’s CEO and had a 2 hour conversation with the CFO) I landed the job and will start work in several weeks time.

Nowadays I notice that I spent a lot of time getting clear with what I want. I manage myself through creating priority lists and I monitor and update them as things arise. It helps me focus my mind on exactly what I want and my laser-sharp intention helps bring to me the things that I want with utmost ease. Life is much less effortful and you have more free time to enjoy a balanced life. Get simple, get clear, life becomes a lot easier when you’re not expending your energy on acquiring excesses.

Another thing I’ve noticed. Always follow what your heart says in the moment, if you’re supposed to complete something by a certain time, but for whatever reason, you really want to do something else first, follow that. You’ll be surprised how where your heart leads you will help you complete what you need faster and better than what your rational mind can achieve. This takes a lot of practice as we’re accustomed to relying solely on our left-brains to achieve and complete tasks. Learning to follow your heart, which is often how you access your intuition, is the way we can leverage our right brain. Things happen more smoothly and effortlessly and again, life becomes easier.

Whatever you don’t want, cannot serve you. Whatever you do want, has to, in some way, whether or not it is evident to you at the time, more so than not.

So have you started to think about what you want? What do you feel a tug for? Let go of what you don’t want. Follow your heart, follow your flow. You will always be in the right place, in the right time.