Thoughts On Equinox Morning And Modern Slavery

This morning, I stepped out of the house and was greeted with the most beautiful sky. The picture really doesn’t capture it – there were pink and light-blue clouds in the sky, and the light of the rising sun come through indirectly, bathing everything in a surreal shimmer of gold. It was a perfect expression of the Equinox, the balance of light and darkness!

Then when I got in the car and drove off, I saw a rainbow just in front of me, another symbol of balance, since it needs both rain and sunshine to be present. It grew into a full-size rainbow as I drove onto the motorway, and then I went to work with the sun rising in deep orange colour behind me. What a gift!

I’m celebrating the balance in my life, and that includes work-life balance. And while I’m very grateful to finally work in a great company in my day job, I haven’t given up on my dream to work from home again one day. I don’t think I’ll manage to ever be completely self-sufficient here in Ireland (there are laws in place to prevent that, but I’d rather not go into detail now). What astonishes me is how many people completely accept the concept of “working for a living” as the way life works, without questioning it or even realising that this concept has only become dominant for the past 150 years or so.

If you think about it, it’s absolutely staggering how people have been enslaved by this idea. People used to work their land, and while that was often backbreaking work, it was THEIR work, on THEIR land, for THEIR own food. Or they were rich and lived off the “income” of their estates, where other people worked. Artists would find sponsors for their work and travels. Yes, there was always work, and yes, there has been money in our world for a long time, but this narrow idea of “work so you get currency in exchange” wasn’t the only, immediate, knee-jerk option in everybody’s heads. And it gave people more freedom. What astonishes me so much is how “normal” people find it that they only have a few weeks at their own disposal per year, and every other day is structured and decided on by somebody else. It’s extremely limiting, like a milder form of slavery.

Marx was spot-on. I don’t think much of the attempts at translating his insights into political systems on our planet so far, but boy did he know his stuff. And that’s why I’m working on creating a larger degree of freedom and self-determination in my own life.

In the meantime, I’m happy to spend my weekdays at a company that’s actually worth my effort. It’s the first company whose t-shirt I wear with pride! Like an addon to my Equinox celebrations, HP is currently in the middle of the 75-year anniversary. We had a big meeting in the canteen this morning, with cupcakes and coffee and a guest speaker from the US headquarters. Fortunately, he really has the gift of capturing the audience’s attention. He started off with: “Don’t worry, I’ll just talk to you, there won’t be a PowerPoint. I often say, if you need a PowerPoint, you either have no power, or no point” – haha!

We then went into the grounds and stood in the shape of a large 75 in our blue and white company t-shirts, which was photographed by some guys on the roof of one of the buildings. It was a study in how energy works: It took a while to get us all into position, and we were standing there freezing in our t-shirts. Then someone played the song “Happy” by William Pharrell over the speakers and we started dancing on the spot, clapping and whooping, and the energy was transformed immediately, you could feel it, like an electric current through the crowd. Amazing.

Gratitude. It’s another theme of the Autumn Equinox. The harvest is mostly in and we look at the bounty and give thanks. I do hope you all have as much to be grateful for, as I do these days.

Happy Equinox! 

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The Dynamics Of Balance

It’s that time of the year, when it can still get fairly mild during the day, but the nights are absolutely freezing. In the morning, my car is full of condensation and there’s a cold mist over the fields. I took the picture above just outside the office last week, and it shows autumn is on its way! I know there are some countries where you still get 25 degrees in October – the Germans call it “Old Wives’ Summer” – but over here in Ireland, summer often ends with July. 

We still get mild days though. Yesterday morning the world had that dim, misty greyness we usually associate with November. By the time I left work, the sky was bright blue and the sun was shining on a mild 18 degrees. It’s this contrast between day and night that tells me, more than anything else, that autumn is on its way. The equinox is less than two weeks away, it happens on the 23rd this year in the early hours, so actually in the night between the 22nd and the 23rd. What are your plans, if any? I think I’ll focus a lot on balance in my celebration, it’s my life theme this lifetime. 

In fact, I’m managing more and more balance in my life. I have my job and my wonderful, sacred, inspiring Coaching, as well as free time and play. I still don’t have enough time with friends, but it’s a lot better than it was a year ago. And while I still sit on my bum waaaaay too much – at work and also at home, both during Coaching and during gaming – I have started moving again with the free Pilates course at work. It’s a beginning! 

There are different ways to look at balance in life. From a Pagan perspective, I tend to look to nature and its cyclic seasons and moon phases, and that’s a good example of how balance is always dynamic instead of static. Static would mean that nothing ever changes. Dynamic means: you might have a new baby and then you’ll get less sleep and have less time to look after yourself for a while, whilst relationships (with your baby) are high on your agenda. You may take a year off and go big on self care and body fitness for a while, whilst your professional development takes a back seat. But the pendulum always swings back into the opposite direction eventually, and so all in all, you still achieve balance – a dynamic balance. 

I tend to look at four categories and try to do something for myself in all four of them. 

  • Body – currently Pilates, mostly clean eating 
  • Mind – currently learning new things at work, creating, Coaching 
  • Soul – my budgies, connecting with friends and family, playing WoW 
  • Spirit – Pagan practice, walks in nature, meditation 

If I ever have to think about what to write down in one of those areas, it’s usually a sign that it’s out of balance! Then I look at it to determine whether it’s just one of the usual dynamic swings in the other direction, or whether it’s a permanent thing that needs to be fixed. All in all I’m absolutely ASTONISHED at the balance I’ve found. I used to lead a life that was much different. I had lots of people around me, went out all the time, travelled a lot, and never stayed in one place for too long. It was a great way to live for a while although it did leave traces and yes, scars, but it’s just not my way any longer. 

By the way, I don’t believe this has anything do to with age, just with the amount of time of having lived a certain way. After a while, the pendulum longs to swing back. There was a time when I was too closed off, almost a hermit, and now that’s changed too and I’m sort of in the balanced middle. It would almost be static, but there are still and always element which are moving. 

Life’s grand, isn’t it? How’s your balance? 

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Last Friday was the big day. 

I had planned it for weeks, and Friday evening after work, I took 100 EUR out of my abundant paycheck (I adjusted other budgets until I had a full 100 EUR available), and went to a shopping mall near my work. The mission was to replenish my stock of non-black sweaters for autumn and winter, and the criteria was only that I had to like them, they had to be at least partially made of natural fibre and not be in a colour I already owned. The latter was easy to accomplish, because after my clear-out frenzy last month I had exactly TWO pullovers left! 

I thought I’d probably get another two with my budget. I strolled through the mall, feeling abundant and glamorous (I was wearing the make-up to boot), and went into every single clothing boutique. To cut a long story short, I ended up with five – FIVE! – sweaters! The picture above shows the bounty spread out on my bed. I love all of them, and they are all at least part cotton. When I had four and had spent 75 EUR, I strolled into another store and saw the bright cobalt blue one on the right. I fell in love. It is over 50% cotton and feels amazing. It also fit perfectly. It was only then that I checked the price tag – 24.99!! I stayed exactly in budget. I love abundance magic. 

I drove home with my shopping bags, feeling ridiculously luxurious and abundant, exhausted but happy. I still haven’t managed to put those jumpers into my wardrobe, they are spread out over the airer where I can see them and grin at them every time I enter my bedroom. I’ll get over it, I promise, haha! 

The above might seem insignificant and mundane to some, but to me it’s such a huge step. I’m abundant, I spend money on myself, but within reason and most importantly, within budget. Ten years ago I didn’t even have a budget. If you don’t have one, I urge you to learn about these things. If you’d like support, consider booking a basic 3-month Coaching package. You’ll spend the money initially, but I promise you’ll more than make up for the investment in the months to follow. This is so important, and it’s so liberating! I’ve gone through the money and abundance steps with several of my Coaching clients, and the results were always overwhelming. Seriously, consider it. 

To me, this means that I’m walking my talk. That I really have learned my lesson. That I’m nothing like the person I was ten years ago. I’m now free, abundant, happy, and in control. It feels AMAZING. 

It’s also very fitting that this happened during the Waxing Moon. This cycle I’m growing my abundance and my money muscles! I’m also growing content and happiness. I feel like I’m at the beginning of a phase in my life when things are coming together: I have a lovely job in an amazing, no-BS company, I can foresee having my deposit together next year and coming closer to my dream, I’m happy and settled where I live currently, my business gives me inspiration and happiness, and my finances are solid. 

Again, it’s nothing outrageous or sensational, but looking back, I realise I’ve come a long way from living and working in four different countries, always broke, with no concept or plan, floundering, and finally going into debt. Ten years hard work and education later, it’s actually happening! The work is beginning to pay off. 

It’s definitely no co-incidence that it’s the Harvest Moon this month. I’m loving my harvest so far, and I’m going to celebrate the Full Moon on the 9th in rather more splendor than usual. After that, I’ll be ready for the balance of the Equinox. 

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