• The Power of Silence

    (originally posted on michellepowell.me)

    Few times in life do women actually get total approval for being any way we want to be. Where anything goes and we get a “free pass” if you will. I think of being pregnant, being an infant or young child and those with medical issues. There is total acceptance of whatever we want to say or do during those times and all guards are down. We feel taken care of with compassion and are completely free to be our true selves (no matter how unattractive, crazy or emotional we get). Nothing we do is “too much”, people adjust around us and we are seen with pure eyes. Isn’t that interesting? 

    I had simply accepted this as a fact until recently. Two weeks ago I attended a spiritual feminine luxury retreat with 9 other women in Palm Springs. We were to have no technology, dive into ancient feminine teachings, conduct sacred sister circles and be initiated as a “Queen”. Archetypes like the Queen or Warrior are a huge part of spirituality. They hold the role to play when seeking to embody truth and power. Little did I know, though, that this was a half-silent retreat. That meant every night after circle we would go into silence until lunchtime the next day. 

    For someone who has never done anything like this before, I was scared and shocked which is an understatement. How were we to communicate? How will we pass the time? We were sharing rooms and bathrooms, how was this going to work? I had to put full faith in my mentor and myself to trust the process, which I have been working on in my life lately anyway. This was a powerful opportunity to put this trust into action. It was time for me to step up my spiritual game and accept whatever came up. 

    As with any first time, it was a little awkward. I wanted to connect with the lovely women around me! I wanted to ask questions and laugh! I wanted to talk about what we just learned. When I was left to myself, in the actual presence of the other women, I didn’t know how to handle my emotions or feelings. I felt the energies of everyone, but was forced to be with only mine. What I realized was that I had been denying myself for so long. 

    Part of being a Queen is honoring her own time, space and body. She doesn’t seek attention, acknowledgement and social activities when there are decisions to be made or deep learning to understand. She knows what she needs and never has to explain herself. She knows she holds the power for change in herself and her Queendom. With great power comes great responsibility. She sets strong, healthy boundaries.

    That silence was a boundary to protect our process of everything we had just learned and felt. It kept us incredibly present and created space for the information or whatever feeling that came up to ‘land’. It allowed us to be in our bodies, not in our heads, to embody our truth we intrinsically are as women. It was permission to feel and be any way we wanted to. There was no judgement and no criticism from ourselves or the others. There was only love, acceptance, compassion and freedom. This is where we, as women, are safe to shine. 

    Instead of succumbing to the belief that we only get a few chances to be completely free and authentic, I now understand that once we sit with who we are without distractions, we find our safety. In that safety, we have freedom. It is when we let our minds or outside circumstances take control that the perception of safety is absent and we aren’t able to claim our power. Our power is in our being and our body, not our doing or intellect.

    When women feel safe, anything is possible. When we create our own safety through silence and space, we allow our full self to completely emerge. Our unique power is ignited and people around us will adjust to it. Just like a pregnant woman, baby or ill patient, everyone else will see us with pure eyes and compassion. They will either accept our power and be led by it or be repelled and go the other direction. Our needs are served when they are felt and honored by ourselves first.  (TWEET THAT)

    With that gift of silence, we were all able to see ourselves easier, to let things truly sink in and understand what it means to have power as a woman. All the logistic awkwardness worked out, too. You can still communicate in silence. Who knew?  ;)

    Technology such as phones, Facebook, TV, music or apps as well as engagement with others can be a distraction from what we really need to thrive, and inevitably keep us stuck. There is a time and place for it - I’m not suggesting to go all hard-core no technology. However, l invite you to give yourself enough space and time to discern when healing and processing need to be honored. You can have this whenever you need. Trust the process. 

    This concept has changed my life. I believe it has to experienced before one can fully understand it. I’ve heard about going off the grid my entire life, but not until 32 years in did I accept the challenge. Oh, and Sacred Sisterhood helped.

    Have you experienced going off-the-grid? If so, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments! If not, how and when can you create some off-the-grid silence in your life? 

    Silent hugs,

  • Cosmic Construction: Organizing Your Days Using Astrology

    I believe we all are energy and what we DO with that energy can be powerful (TWEET THAT!).  Even more so when used in conjunction with other like energy simultaneously. This is similar to why Feng Shui works. In other words, a ton of people doing the same thing at the same time for the same reason. I'm sure you can put together some memories of why that concept in general is so powerful. 

    We all have shit to do. We all talk about there not being enough time to do it in. We all take on more than we can handle at some point and then complain why our lives aren't what we want it to be. I know how easy it is to get caught up in the "what life gives you" storm. We can all sure use any help we can get. Am I right? That's why I get excited to utilize the universe to my benefit. Here are 3 ways I've had success in constructing my days, weeks & to-do list according to the cosmos. 


    Astrological Significance of Each Day


    "Have you ever noticed how each weekday has a distinct feel to it? Each day of the week is governed by a planet or a luminary (moon and sun), and so each day has a special energy and feel to it according to its overruling planet. We can use astrological meaning of days to enhance our progress every day of the week. Being aware of daily planetary properties can facilitate alignment of our thoughts and allow a better flow of productivity throughout our days and weeks.

    Learning the planetary personalities and each meaning of days opens a whole new realm of potential growth. A fabulous flow of energy can be created when we work with the planetary attributes rather than blindly moving through our week. Simply put, knowing astrological meaning of days gives us a secret weapon for success and productivity because we are working with the cosmic orbits, not against." - Avia Vanefica from http://www.whats-your-sign.com/astrological-meaning-of-days.html

    Here are my suggestions on what you can do on each day that would be most benefiting:

    Monday - MOON - introspection, meditation, determining emotions (write, set boundaries, feel into desires).
    Tuesday - MARS - Take action on new/old projects (organizing!), plan a full day, stay active/energetic.
    Wednesday - MERCURY - Communicate (email, speak, phone, blog...), connect, travel, go to doctor.
    Thursday - JUPITER - Do anything that you want to grow/increase in size, meetings, planning.
    Friday - VENUS - Love someone (you count!), dates, creativity, finding pleasure in necessary tasks.
    Saturday - SATURN - Cleaning, preparation, studying, adventures
    Sunday - SUN - Rest, cooking, learning, fueling, nurture, be bold, wish.

    Time of Day Scheduling


    Just like days of the week, the time of day has an impact on your productivity. Each hour is also ruled by a planet, but that gets too convoluted for me. Let's just go with the sun schedule here. Some of this might be obvious, but try to put a deeper meaning into what you schedule for each timeframe. 

    DAWN: Ease into new energy, decide on intention as light emerges so you can "see" better

    MORNING: Schedule something new, work on the hardest tasks needing the most energy or tasks that you desire expansion from.

    NOON: Starting at 12pm, the sun is goin' down and that affects on our actions. After noon until evening is a great for working towards projects/goals, studying/learning and clean up any "mess" (whatever that might look like).

    TWILIGHT: Wrap it up! Take it slow and be more alert as "shadows" are appearing, enjoy the transition.

    NIGHT: Quiet rest and rejuvenation, sneaky secretive behavior if you're into that, endings (think relinquishing duties/responsibilities or releasing of something no longer needed).

    The Moon Cycles


    The moon, as our closest planet, is SO POWERFUL. Each moon cycle is ruled by another planet and therefore comes with different traits/personalities/strengths. We can honor each 2 week cycle by living according to what the corresponding planet of the month represents. You can find information on what each month's planetary moon combo is online (google it). In general, keep these guidelines in mind for each phase:

    NEW MOON - A fresh start to set intentions for the month and especially the next two weeks. It's the time to start new endeavors, begin processes and create. As the moon is waxing (getting bigger), we are able to harness that growth in our own lives, just like I mentioned in the morning time above. 

    FULL MOON - Big, bright Illumination means we can see the darkest spots in our lives. It's our spotlight to celebrate. As the moon is waning (getting smaller), it's the time to release what is no longer serving us such as habits, people, endeavors or beliefs. 


    Fascinating, huh?  In the comments below, tell me what you liked the most. What will you be implementing in your life right away?

  • Interview: Alegre Ramos - Organization Tips for Busy Moms


    Alegre Ramos is a wife, mom, eco-expert and also runs multiple small businesses. I've always admired how productive and put together she is, and now you can hear what this busy mom does to keep her life and business organized!

    She talks about what to do with all the "ugly" stuff in the home, how to handle the hectic daily life while still getting things done, what eating technique minimizes waste and saves time + more! 

    Watch the interview here:

     

    Check out Alegre on her website at EmberLiving.com.