Welcome to Wellness Weekly coming to you every week. This will be a regular series, sort of like a Letter from the Editors that will rotate between different members of Team Smudge and the occasional guest. We’ll hold space on the Dirt to check in on our Sixth Sense: the term we use to refer to our spirit, our intuition, our inner power. And because while we exist in the world alongside our other Five Senses, we’ll do a check-in of those, too.
I am not one to “blame” the sun, moon, or any of the planets that orbit me and the earth for my moods or my wins or losses. I take full responsibility for my actions, my decisions, my life, and the way in which I react. That being said, this past week has been chaotic for me and there has been no one true reason I could point to for the cause of my unease.
My routines, my family obligations, my finances, and running my business have not changed… but I have. I wake up feeling out of breath in the morning. I try to focus on my usual routines, but my mind wanders. I draw a tarot card, as is my usual early morning ritual when I am enjoying my cup of tea. I cannot focus on the card or its meaning. Cards that once comforted me seem to have sinister meanings lurking at the edges. I can’t fall asleep nor can I stay asleep.
As I am sure anyone who reads The Dirt by Smudge knows, “Mercury is the god of communication and commerce.” This retrograde period has truly toyed with communication and some miscommunication and upset (by me) at the way clients were treating me. I thank Mercury, though for showing me that light and it helped me realize I’ve been being treated in a way I shouldn’t allow and also that I let it happen. I am weighing my options and my way of discussing items with them, but I am not rushing into any major changes that could impact my “commerce” because of a knee-jerk reaction.
I do know a sense of unease had been seeping in and has overtaken me in recent days. I cry more readily (and that’s saying something because as my family will tell anyone who asks — crying is my superpower). I am never afraid to show my emotions. After a good cry, I feel cleansed, lighter and have a clear focus. This week though, my crying begets more tears and I arise from those bouts emotionally spent.
I was talking with a friend and she said, “there is something up with this week. I just can’t get my feet under me.” It was then that the lightbulb went off — mercury retrograde. I can’t remember a time in my past when I felt chaos as I have been feeling this past week.
My sign, Taurus, is telling me that this Mercury retrograde period will impact my career — and it has. I had taken on a new professional project — one I am regretting and know I will step back and say, “thank you, but no thank you. This just isn’t going to work for me.” It has opened my eyes to treatment for which I should have been more in tune with but I brushed under a rug and turned a blind eye to the gnawing unease in my belly and in my psyche.
Wellness Weekly: Calming My Chaotic Thoughts
Am I more in tune with myself, my moods, and my reaction to others? Are the people with whom I interact doing something to “annoy” or be hurtful? Doubtful. None of the people in my sphere have changed, but this past week my reactions to them have. Thank the spirits that my husband, children, grandchildren, and my fur babies have been there to support me. Even when I ask, “what is going on with me today/this week?” No one other than my smart-alecky grown son quips… “you mean you’re different this week?”
Thursday rolled around and I had a couple of clients causing me to tear my hair out and doubt my skills. I knew I had to step back. I turned off electronics, bundled up, and went outdoors. In the area of the country I live — Western New York — we were walloped with almost two feet of snow this past week. The temperatures hovered in the single digits or double digits below zero. It wasn’t ideal for walking, but I needed earth, no matter how snow-covered, under my feet. I had to feel the bite of the cold on my cheeks as I huddled into the warmth of my jacket and my scarf.
The short time outside followed a day-long break from social media and electronics other than my salt lamp and my ocean sounds playing. I needed to re-center. I needed to take back the power I’d let my clients rob me of. I grabbed my well-loved journal, gathered my poodles and cats by my side and huddled by the small electric fireplace, sipped my tea, and let my pen fly. Words I would never say to a client flowed forth. Anger at a rude shopper at the grocery store was dealt with on the pages. My blessings were counted, pondered over, underlined, circled, and marked with sticky notes. I nibbled a piece of dark chocolate, leaned back, spent but somehow revitalized.
I laid out my tarot scarf, fanned out my Smudge tarot cards and my Smudge crystals. I wasn’t drawing a card or trying to glean any meaning from the crystals. I just needed to sit with them, find my center and remember not to “blame” Mercury. I do know I am impacted by the cycles of the tides, planets and seasons but I need to remember I am impacted and I need to take care of myself and my spirit and all will be well. I have probably always been impacted by the planets, but it has only been recently that I pay enough attention to my thoughts and my heart to truly embrace my emotions.
All that being said, I made time almost every day to do a check-in with my senses.
Scent. I am very scent-driven. I either revel in or am reviled by scents. During my overwhelming week, my husband and I went to a home improvement store and I breathed in the scent of fresh-cut wood. Our dogs got groomed, they smelled wonderful. My grandsons took a bath when they were at the house and there is nothing better than a fresh-from-the-bath snuggly baby.
Sight. At times, the chaos of my desk overwhelms me even though it is typically very austere. Quite unplanned, I spent two hours doing a deep dive in the closed drawers of my rolltop desk. I took everything out of the open shelves, the several drawers at the top, and purged. I kept my favorite tarot deck and my Smudge crystals by my computer. They remind me to stop, breathe, center and perhaps pull a card.
Taste. I experimented this week with a mushroom risotto bake. This was huge for me because I am not much of a cook and risotto always seemed daunting; baking took that fear away. I loved this meal because it called for a variety of mushrooms, some of which I had never tried before. The creamy texture of the rice, the earthy scent of the mushrooms, and the “meaty” texture of the portabellas… perfection. And it also fed my sense of having accomplished something so outside of my comfort zone. My family loved it and that was a major feather in my cap.
Sound. For me, sounds are always backgrounded noise. I think I learned to tune sounds out at a young age because my parents always had the television or radio on — it was rarely ever silent in our family of five. Now, though, I cannot be in a room that is silent without my thoughts racing a mile a minute. The meow and purr of my cat, who has a congenital heart condition and whose days are numbered, made me happy. The laughter of my grandsons, or hearing them holler, “Gigi” or whisper, “I love you, Gigi” uplifted and filled my heart.
Ending the day by turning on my sound machine to be lulled me to sleep was welcome. I love the sound of storms, wind chimes, fire crackling and water from fountain sounds soothe me.
Touch. This past week, I felt I’d rubbed the edges of my crystals smooth. I retrieved my chunk of pyrite from my grandson’s “treasure box” and carried it around with me. The color and feeling of my amethyst in my pocket soothed me. Both crystals rarely left my side and feeling their cool hardness in the palm of my hand, or resting by my pillow helped me find more of my center and gave my hands something to do.
If nothing else, this past week reminded me to check in with my heart and head. I tried to stay present, even though there were times I wondered. I laughed. Loved. Counted my blessings.