Seasons of Change

March 23, 2015

A friend called me this morning, looking for how to answer a friend’s question that “western astrology can’t work because of the precession of the equinoxes”.   I got the giggles.

[The rest of this is in three sections.  Part 1 is the technical stuff.  Part 2 is the MEANING, which is (always) more important to me.  Part 3 is the “how I’m dealing with it” part.]

Part 1           Yes, the difference between western (tropical) astrology and Indian (sidereal) astrology is that sidereal astrology is completely based on the positions of the stars.  And tropical astrology isn’t.  But tropical astrology is completely based on the positions of the equinoxes and solstices.  So every spring equinox (when you can balance a raw egg on its point!) will always be Zero Aries in tropical astrology.  Both of these systems are based on something physical, which has some kind of meaning to the mechanically minded, though the mechanically minded will not see how the physical leads to non-physical kinds of meaning. If we look again at the two systems, tropical and sidereal, we see that the sidereal system also lacks sky-map precision.

Astrology uses 12 constellations to create the 12 astrological signs.  Each “sign” is 30 degrees of arc.  But the constellations are NOT all 30 degrees of arc!  Pisces is HUGE and overlaps with Aquarius a lot–which is why we are, IMO, right now, at the very end of the age of Pisces AND at the beginning of the age of Aquarius.  Aries is a tiny little squirt.  It happened before Pisces and Pisces overlapped part of Aries, too.  So in neither system is astrology an exact sky-map representation of the sky.  All the constellations are different sizes and shapes, and both systems of astrology simply say each sign is 30 degrees.  Somehow this works.  Not even astrologers can tell you why — if you’re asking from the physical level of reality.

Part 2           The reason it works….   Have you ever tried to discuss the esoteric meaning of your dreams with a surgeon?  (My apologies to surgeons–I actually know one with whom that would be a natural discussion, but you get my drift here, I think.)  Surgeons deal with the most physical parts of the physical world.  Dreams come from somewhere else.  The problem is that most people’s thinking has NOT caught up with science, which says that Physical Matter is only FIVE PERCENT of the universe.  Many advanced physicists (and meditators, and others) say that each of us is a fragment of SOURCE, which is an unbreakable singularity.  When something is entirely single, ALL OF EVERYTHING is a part of it.  So SOURCE, of which we are a fragment, contains ALL of EACH of us, including the 95% that is NOT physical.  In SOURCE, we are not separated from each other, we are not separated from the stars, we are not separated from ALL of GOD Itself.

It seems to me that astrology, which reaches way beyond the physical understanding of our own physical world–our own bones and sinews, our own plot of dirt on the ground–is a way of expanding our understanding of SELF (and physical world) that stretches us beyond our limited physical senses.

Funny thing here–we sometimes talk about “defining moments” or “defining experiences” in our lives.  THE defining moment–the one with the greatest importance and defining power of all, is our birth into the physical world.  So it makes all the sense in the physical world, as we reach for meaning beyond the physical, to use the omens and meanings of that moment to understand our Being in this physical world.

Part 3                 So now I’m living in a world in which I know my physical body is only a tiny fragment of my larger self.  I’m trying to reach out to my non-physical SOURCE self for an understanding of what’s going on in my life–cause things ARE going on.  My birthchart is being powerfully impacted by Saturn, Neptune, Uranus and Pluto.  And all of these planets can be associated with Death.  (Pluto, almost always makes us aware of death issues, but almost never does Pluto actually kill a person–though it may make you WISH it would!  Pluto tends to kill identity, which feels like dying anyway.)

In the past 2+ months I’ve had email problems (server LOST days of email without ever sending them to me!), computer problems (my old one died and the new one took 2 months of tech support to work correctly) and recently I discovered my phone was telling everyone I wasn’t accepting calls (that’s fixed now, so please call).  All of these things have tremendously affected my business–which is 100% astrological counseling.  If people can’t reach me by phone or email, how on earth am I to counsel them??  So I’ve been experiencing a sense of death, closure, ending.  I am VERY invested in astrological counseling.  I love what I do.  And from the present aspects to my chart and the results, it’s entirely possible that I love it too much.  It has become my identity.

So I am in the odd position of trying to invite in the 95% of myself that does NOT exist on the physical to help me identify ways to exist in the physical world.  Really an oddball balance.  It’s really very hard to balance oneself physically while opening to something else entirely.  But as a wise woman recently pointed out to me, not only is all the physical world really just vibration–energy, not matter, but a very slow vibration that appears solid to us… not only is that true, but the non-physical part is what creates the vibratory rates.  And as we reach out to access the SOURCE-MIND, of which our own minds are a part, we can allow the creative to bring anything we want into this world.

I’ve never been into “The Secret”-like collages of wishes and dreams because I always suspect that my wishes and dreams are created by my limited 5% imagination.  I am open to BIG energy shifts, of whatever GOOD type.  (And all is good, but still I prefer that it feel good to me, and my astrological experience tells me that not resisting change is the best guarantee of good results.)

So I am opening my arms wide–welcoming all my beloved clients and knowing that even more wonder and joy is available if I don’t try to define it before knowing what’s available.  A big YES to everything.

Merc RX survival and more

March 9, 2015

AAAARGH!!!!  This has been one of the craziest Mercury Retrograde periods EVER!  I’m FINALLY functioning again–computer blew up JUST before the retrograde, forcing me to purchase a new computer the day before, with a stationary Mercury squaring my 6th house Pluto (work issues!)  What can you do??  Well, in my case, WAIT would have been the right answer.  I ended up finding a great computer tech guy in Austin, which I needed, and who got me out of total disaster, but I still have bunches of weird problems.  I hope I can get them solidly fixed.

Then, still RX, my multiply-handicapped brother (autism, blindness, hearing loss) slipped on ice and severely broke his right arm. Bad enough that he needed shoulder surgery, so I ended up in Indiana for what I thought was a a few days but ended up being over a week, because of his onset of a severe gastric distress.  ‘Nuf said.  It sounds so heroic to do this, but I must confess I was reluctant and grumpy for a while.  Not grumpy to Brother tho. Glad to be back home with my sweet pup now, and thanks SO much to Chuck and Karen who cared for him despite CHUCK’s mulltiple shoulder surgeries while I was gone.  WHEW!!!

And the computer??  Well, I’m still stumbling into problems almost daily.  Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.


Tibetan Healing, cont.

November 18, 2010

After waking from the dream, I decided to practice the technique.  In a minute I’ll try to describe more clearly the internal process, but I’m still trying to figure out if this is ‘real’.   So first I tried, in the shower, with my vision (which isn’t great).  It might have been my imagination, but it seemed like I could see more clearly.  Then I tried thinking of a friend with some chronic health issues, including exhaustion and frequent depression.  I practiced on her, and was simply filled with a sense of love and joy as I did the process.  Then I remembered another friend whose husband had been in a serious motorcycle accident.  I “rolled him around” in my brain a bit.  And then I emailed them both.

That evening I got a phone call and an email.  The friend with chronic health issues was bubbling over with energy.  She said she was in a circumstance that afternoon that was usually unpleasant and challenging, but suddenly she realized she was incredibly happy.  And her energy levels went up, and she kept apologizing for talking a hundred miles an hour, but she had so much energy…    And the email, the husband had noticeably less pain that afternoon.

I don’t know if this does anything long-lasting.  I don’t know if it’s supposed to.  But I’m still playing with it.

More Description:

As I said before, trying to describe the process the teacher was showing me is SO difficult, because it took place entirely on a non-verbal and non-physical level.   But I can’t describe it without referring to physical things–like a blast of water, or pushing it around with fingers.

It’s more like an energy blob of indeterminate shape is placed in a spherical chamber inside my awareness.  As my attention is on the blob, energy pressures in the chamber knead the shape, changing it.  In the process, the blob shape twists and rolls in the chamber, with parts of it seemingly pushed in, others bulging out.  I have no idea what the shape is, or why there needs to be this twisting or rolling, but the Teacher would reach inside my mind and nudge it one way or another as a way to demonstrate what I was to do.

I think it’s OK to use familiar images, like blasts of water, or manipulating the blob with imaginary fingers, but I also get that the visuals connected to the world we know are a film that may interfere with the process.

I’ll let you know as I continue to play with this.   If you want me to do this during a reading, I’ll be happy to.

Family Constellation Workshop: Sept 19

September 8, 2010

Sunday, Sept. 19, 2 pm – evening

At long last, several requests later…..  Now I’m making a  Request for Participants!

One lovely individual has requested a Family Constellation, which is a healing process that is most powerful in a group setting.  I am asking those of good heart and curiosity to come (FREE) to assist this person in her own healing.  There is also space for two other focused (paid) constellations.
Constellation work (which is not about stars, but is about how energy is arranged–‘constellated’–among people) is a phenomenal process that combines techniques from shamanism and psycho-spiritual healing.

  • We engage the energies of love, responsible for all creation.
  • Using love’s energies, we interact with the ancestors and sometimes with people we may never know, to create an opening for healing.
  • The process “un-kinks the hose” so the creative and supportive power of love can flow freely, and can be available in one’s everyday life.
  • This is a group event, in which everyone gains from the singular process which plays out around one individual.

During the workshop, we will also have one constellation focused on the healing of all individuals present. I invite all participants to attend FREE–in support of your own healing and that of others.  There is also room for two more individuals to be healing focal points, at $250 each.
For more information about the constellation process, sample stories, etc., look under the heading “Family Constellations at

Please email me at [email protected] if you would like to participate.  I will need RSVPs –I need a reliable count of participants to make this work for the person who requested this.

Thanks so much to everyone.

April-May Astro-weather

April 4, 2010

This is an intense and busy spring, setting us up for an intense and busy summer.  This is the summer of the FearStorm, and we are already in the build-up to this storm.  Why is it important to talk about a FearStorm?  Because fear spreads rapidly, like fire, and if we aren’t paying attention it can rage out of control.  So April and May are perfect months for practicing good emotional hygiene and for innoculating ourselves from the FearStorms ahead.

What is Fear?  For one, it’s a cute acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real.  Unless you are being attacked by a bear, or are in a similarly immediate life-threatening situation, fear is always imaginary and is never about the present moment.  Even if you have stage 5 cancer, your fear does not refer to the knowable present.  It is about the future.  Fear may be about what others might be doing in the present or what someone might have done wrong in the past, about what might happen, about how you might feel. It’s always about something you do not know to be true.    What you know may bring you sorrow; your physical body may bring you pain, but only what we do not know brings us fear.

Good emotional hygiene can innoculate us against a FearStorm.  What is the personal hygiene to counteract fear?

  1. Keep your awareness in the present moment. When fear approaches you, ask if it relates to the present.  Bring your attention back to the present moment.
  2. Separate fear from reality. Ask yourself if there are alternatives to the scenario you fear.  Most fears are concatenations of disaster scenarios:  First This awful thing, which will trigger That awful thing, etc.  What if there is This wonderful thing, which will trigger That wonderful thing and etc.? Why does one version of an imaginary future seem more real to you than another?  They are both fantasies.  Neither is real.  Fear is our response to the unknown.  Choose what makes you happy
  3. Recognize how you’ve coped with past situations. Whether your fear is personal or is related to grand social issues, remember how you’ve coped with difficulties in the past.  Whatever comes up, you will be able to deal with it when the time comes.  You don’t have to deal with it now.
  4. Choose your emotions thoughtfully. Even if the worst of your fears comes true, will staying in a state of fear between this time and that make the situation better?   Taking action may make it better, but taking action is not fear.  If something bad were to happen in XX years, would you rather worry about it for all those years ahead of time or just handle it when it happens?   How many things have you feared that have not happened?  CHOOSE to avoid fear.
  5. Reallocate your emotional energy. Fear is a gradient emotion.  When you face a huge rollercoaster you may feel fear, but it takes the form of excitement.  Fear can morph into excited anticipation.  Fear can morph into an urgency to take action.  Fear can morph into the determination to envision the world you want!   (Be sure to read Anita M’s Near Death Experience!–and you might enjoy Ricky Gervais’s movie The Invention of Lying).  Reallocate the energy of fear into the excitement of Joyful Anticipation!

In April and May there will definitely be punctuation dates in the process of changes that are inevitable in any life.   Globally, we still have the collision aspects of Pluto (transformation/power), Saturn (authority, big businesses, rules), and Uranus (freedom, individuation, rebelliousness, revolution).  We’re in this dance for the next few years, but punctuations come this summer.

April 6:  Pluto, the planet that triggers fear and resistance, stations retrograde, greatly magnifying its influence.  It makes this station in a collision aspect (square) to another planet of fear, this time adding the theme of regulation, Saturn; and in a smoother relationship (trine) to Venus–the planet of values, including love and money–and Mercury, representing thought and communication.   Expect to see explosions about regulations of the finance system.  Or personal fears about money and finance  (remember your fear hygiene.  It’s all in your imagination!).

April 14:  This is a new moon at 24 Aries.  Time to take action for new beginnings.  No real crises showing up here.

April 17:  Mercury stations Retrograde.  The station point is 12 Taurus, so if you have planets near that point (or 12 Leo, Aquarius, or Scorpio) expect action in the days surrounding this retrograde point.  Why?  Because a station point is intensely powerful energy.  Even more pointedly, this time Mercury stations collides with (squares) Mars, creating the potential for angry (Mars) words (Mercury), but also for sharp (Mars) thinking (Mercury).  (It’s also sextile Pluto, just to spice up the situation with power plays.)   Your choice here.  Mercury stays retrograde until 5/11.   This is NOT a time to sign new contracts, start new projects, send out your advertising flyers–unless you were born with a retrograde Mercury yourself.

April 26:  Saturn (authority, the old way, big business & banking) is in an exact opposition (think collision) with Uranus (the new, rebellion, high tech, freedom) –again.  As it was on the day of Obama’s election, for one thing.  Which will still be in effect on….

April 28:  Full Moon at 8 Scorpio.  This lunation is in collision with Mercury and Mars and is sextile Pluto, so expect some confrontational energy from the crazies out there.  Practice FearStorm hygiene.

May 11:  Mercury stations direct at 2’40” Taurus.  Uber power here, as it harmonizes with Pluto.  Expect a very powerful message from a very powerful source.

May 13:  New Moon in Tropical Taurus… The moon “likes” Taurus–a lot.  It is stable there (and stubborn), and this lunation collides with Mars (action?  anger?) but harmonizes (sextile) with the most generous Jupiter and with responsible Saturn (trine).    The start of something solid and reasonable?

May 27:  This Full moon at 6’33” Sagittarius isn’t particularly notable except that the very next day…

May 28: Uranus (freedom, individualism, rebelliousness, “my way or the highway”) enters tropical Aries (the action principle… and what kind of action?  WHAT *I* WANT).   Tickle this with the full moon energy and remember that this brings ALL three Fearstorm planets (Pluto, Saturn, Uranus) into cardinal (action-oriented) signs, and we’ve upped the ante on acting out from folks who have little or no emotional hygiene.

May 31:  Neptune stations retrograde–the powerful degree here is 28’42” Aquarius.  And it collides with (opposition) Mars, the planet of action.  Neptune is nothing if not nebulous, so this can bring a period of delusional actions, or simply the inability to act—sometimes the impulse is there but the carry-through gets waterlogged.

Ok, that’s it for now.  Stay healthy, emotionally, physically, and spiritually!

November Energies in review.

November 28, 2009

As I mentioned in November, we are building toward a major planetary traffic jam, and November and December are big months.  We saw the Saturn Pluto energies in two major ways:

One was the tragic shooting at Fort Hood…  In my opinion, the cultural and career stresses on Hasan (the shooter) were a recipe for a breakdown.   Just imagine, American born, deciding that serving the military was a reasonable career choice and getting a degree in psychiatry through military funding (an aside here:  it isn’t uncommon for people who have suffered psychological trauma to be attracted to psychiatry in an attempt to heal themselves.  We don’t know Hasan’s psychological background.)   His birth country is now in a war which is loudly proclaimed by extremists as a war against Islam–Hasan’s own religion.  He is placed in a position in which those who have been most traumatized by the horrors of war are bringing their broken spirits–and their horror stories from the front–to a man who has already been the brunt of anti-Islamic prejudice.  Then he is told they’re sending him to the front.   This series of events twists and torture every familial, religious and cultural loyalty the man ever had.  It is a recipe for a schizophrenic break—and, getting back to the astrology, the Saturn Pluto energies:  Fear of events you can’t control, and Fear that things won’t be the way they absolutely SHOULD be, in your opinion, came together in a perfect FearStorm for Hasan.

The second was the announcement that a major state-owned bank in Dubai has declared a moratorium in paying of tens of billions of dollars of debt.  A financial announcement that also triggered a FearStorm across the world’s financial markets.

Look ahead to December in the next post.

Newsletter 3

June 10, 2009

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Stariel Astrology Newsletter
May 2009 2009.3
In This Issue
NEW Mini-Mantras
Astro Timing Right Now
NEW Sacred Tapestries
Astro-Remedies for Tough Times.
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–for Overcoming Resistance:
“Yes, I have room in my heart for this.”


Increasing Joy

“Yes, I have room in my heart for happiness.”

–for Insight
“Hey, this is a good time to get a reading from Anne!”

Quick Links…

This is the “quick announcement” section:

1.  For those you near Austin, TX, the Austin IONS group (Institute of Noetic Sciences) will have a panel on TIME, with 5 presenters,  Tuesday, May 26, at 6:30 pm, Unitarian Church at 4700 Grover.  The event is FREE, and yours truly will be on the panel, along with other great speakers and thinkers.  (The session will be recorded and available on my site and the Austin IONS site, technology gods willing.)  Afterward’s we’ll gather at the nearby Blue Star Diner for more conversation.

2.  the THIRD part of the 4-part article series are now available.  This is the written-out version of the March lecture at Institute of Noetic Sciences, Austin, where the recording didn’t “take”.  You can find Part One here, and Part Two here. and Part Three here .

3. The lecture on Chiron for the Astrology Society of Austin is available for listening our download HERE
4.  I am working on a project about anomolous experiences of time–things like deja-vu in a Huge way; inexplicably short travel times (Austin to Dallas in 2.5 hours instead of 3.5-4.5),  experiencing more than one “time” at a time, and other “time unhinged” phenomena.   If you have had weird time experiences, PLEASE let me know about them!  Email me at [email protected].

Happy Stars to You,

—-Anne Beversdorf

Astro-Timing Right Now

Explore the Cosmos!

We are in the middle of an intense planetary combination: The astrology of May 29-30 is that Neptune and Chiron station at 26 Aquarius, exactly conjunct Jupiter and square Mercury.  This is a powerfully disillusioning pattern that may pull the curtain back on the “wizard of Oz”.  Combined with both the public in the US chart, and with Obama’s sense of freedom and independence, we may be in for a shock.  What kind?  It so happens that Spain’s ancient chart and 20th century birthcharts both have Suns in Scorpio SQUARE (in collision course) with this pattern, and with the United States and with Obama.  Their recent revelations of the exact kinds of torture on one of their citizens (among other things, permanently blinding him in one eye with ground in pepper spray), and their expressed interest in prosecuting high level decision-makers in the US government are combined with their on Inquisitorial history.  This potent combo may make them the delivery point of this Chi/Nep/Jup shock that heals.

Astrologer friend Diane Yankelovitz points out that these days also bring Sun (identity) conjunct Uranus (shocks), in harmonious relationship with the nodes and Chiron, and on the night of the 29th, the Moon in the sky opposes the Chi/Nep/Jupiter lineup. Diane thinks someone with a very mundane job will suddenly spill the beans about the craziness they see, and that the public will suddenly learn a big secret.   I agree with her.  See the rest of her comments (and my previous article)


How will YOU feel?  You’re probably already feeling it.   There is a strong pressure of grief over old issues building, with many people looking for something they can believe in.  This energy will peak at the very end of May, but events associated with the peak could be as late as mid-June.   All summer we will be under this kind of sadness and intense “wishfulness”.   It may be something totally personal to you, but it will affect all of us in our feelings toward the state of the world, the country, and the economy.  The bookend to this pattern isn’t until November.
The good news is that there IS a healing element in this pattern.  It may not be easy, but we’ll pull the bandaid off some putrefaction so we can actually heal it

NEW Mini-Tapestries
I’ve done a lot of work on the site.  Uploaded new tapestry images, grouped them logically, created separate pages for each image.   Here are a few of the newest images.   To see more, click on the web address and enjoy!
Angels of Abraham
Angels of Abraham (click title to see larger image)
Angels of Abraham
Virgin with Child (click title to see larger image)
These tapestries are created in silk (over 500 stitches per square inch) with real faceted gemstones and pearls.  They are expensive, but worth it.  They are delivered in a shadow-box type frame, suitable for permanent or temporary display.

“Astrologicical Remedies for Tough Times”    E-Book (Only $9.00)
ebook The ancient Vedas not only include astrology (“the science of light”)… they also include ways to shift the energies in your life to a more harmonious, healthful, and happy pattern.   In this ebook you’ll learn which weekday is Your best remedy day, and you’ll learn lots of creative, interesting, odd, inexplicable and effective ways to shift the energies at work in your life.  (Yes, odd as it seems, they really work.)

You can learn more about astrological remedies here, and you can order the ebook by sending me an email here. You can use paypal, a credit card, or send me a check–just state your preference in your email.

The next newsletter will feature the last (and hopefully most inspiring article) in the Joyful Anticipation series, and a new podcast.  Thanks for being here, and ’til next time…  may all life bring you joy!
Anne Beversdorf

Anne Beversdorf
Stariel Astrology

05/01/09 Revolving Mantra

May 1, 2009

Periodically, as I rummage through my brain, I discover little phrases that shift me, make me feel good, move my heart, etc.   This week I found a new one. 

Background:  When I get worried, scared, pressured, I actually can FEEL my heart contract.  It just tenses up.  Same thing when I’m feeling shy, or socially unsure. 

This is the “phrase of the week”  (NOT a promise to offer a new one each week!)  You can use it for any situation at all–good or bad.

“Yes, I have room in my heart for this.”  

Watch how it reduces fear, induces peace.

01/07/2009 Self Esteem & Body Image

January 7, 2009

I was walking the dog last night, thinking of extensions of the conversations I had with the women mentioned in the previous posts.   The self-esteem issues.   Body image stuff.   Ugh.   Boy have we been sold a bill of goods on what we SHOULD look like.  

I would LOVE to look like Audrey Hepburn–at any age.   Instead, I look like an older, fatter (brunette) Renee Zellweger.   No matter what I do I’ll never look like Audrey Hepburn.    My face is composed of circles:  a circle for the nose.  Two big cheek circles, a circle for the chin.  There are no angles here.  Even as a skinny teenager there were no angles in my face.   It’s great for aging.  Those puffy cheeks take years off my real age.  Hepburn was all angles.   

And unlike Renee, I don’t have the time or money for draeconian trainers to work me over for hours a day, and there’s no one preparing just the right foods to keep me satisfied while I lose weight.  Generally I forget to eat til I’m ravenous, and then grab the fastest thing around, which usually isn’t the best “diet” choice.

So where is it written that any of us–men and women who have jobs, multiple commitments, more to do than we can complete and less help than we need in any area of our life, SHOULD look like those whose careers ARE their bodies.    (I bet you didn’t know that in the astrology of India (Jyotisha), the planetary pattern that always used to mean prostitute is almost always present in the chart of actors.   The pattern means They Sell Their Bodies.   It’s their job to look seductive!)

I’ve lost some weight.  I could lose more.   But my face is still pudgy, my neck (Aargh!  –you’ve gotta read Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck!! .   It’s priceless:  Laugh Outloud Funny).    When I’m pressured and draw my shoulders up, my head sinks down like a turtle and my neck turns into a chin-making factory.  I’ve counted six or seven at my most stressed.    So I try to relax and drop my shoulders.   But you know what?   This is me.  This is how I look.   I SHOULD look like I look.   If I had no stress I might look better, but given life, stress, schedules, etc, the only should is that I look like a human being.   I do.  Pretty much.  Most of the time.  (well, there was that one morning at a conference when my hair was doing its best imitation of an abyssinian guinea pig.)Abyssian Guinea Pig

There are some places where the pressure to look like someone else is a lot bigger than in other places.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the worst is Southern California.   I lived there for 22 years.   It’s impossible to feel like you look good there.   I don’t care how thin you are, how impeccable your hairdo and makeup and clothes, how many people look at you and feel even worse about yourself because you’re so gorgeous, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll feel bad about how you look.   

Now I live in Austin, Texas.   There are standards here, too.   But they are less rigid.  Definitely not “cookie-cutter” standards.  Not Barbie-doll standards.   There’s more of an emphasis on individuality, on character.  I don’t see as many boob-jobs here, either.

If you take a look at the advertising industry, it’s almost all based on making you feel inadequate–until you buy whatever they’re selling.   I dare you to watch a half-hour of commercial TV without seeing some message that tempts you to think you’ve got a problem that can only be solved by spending money.  

Enough already!   You Should Look like you look.   You Should Have what you have.   Eat what is necessary, enjoy what’s already around you.   You can wish to look like someone else.    You can wish to be a different person.   It won’t happen.   Get used to it—get used to You.    (hey–I can help–contact me for an astrology reading!)

01/07/09 Self Esteem?

January 7, 2009

Over the last several days I’ve had no less than FOUR conversations with attractive women who question their self-esteem.  Why?   Because they have been so generous they have given far more than they received, til they suddenly realized they were just depleted.

 I know it’s normal psycho-babble to call this a symptom of “lack of self-esteem”, but there’s something very twisted, to me, in linking generosity to low self esteem.  It just doesn’t “smell” right.   Are we a society who must find ways to bad-mouth generosity???   Are we really that selfish?   (Looking at current economic crises, I think maybe we are, and we need to examine some of the causes of this selfish greed that has led to such a nasty crash.)   But besides the social/definition-related issues, this argument simply gives us one more thing to beat ourselves up with.  “Oh, I have low self-esteem.  I’m doing everything wrong.  I have to fix this terrible problem.”   I don’t think this kind of labeling helps anything.

 In these various conversations, I started to realize that sometimes this “lack of self-esteem” generosity is simply the result of training and habits.   For example, take me (why not!).   My Dad was always saying “What’s wrong with you.  You think the world revolves around you.  You’re utterly selfish.  You’re not the center of the Universe.   I’ve got to do everything around here.”   On one level, some of this is justified stuff to say to a child.   To some extent we all need to learn to pay attention to others in our environment.  On the otherhand, there’s nothing wrong with a child being self-absorbed.   This is as natural as it could possibly be.   ALL children think they are the center of the universe.  ALL children will do what they want before they do what someone tells them to do –until training, or fear, or insecurity changes this. But the result of this repetition was that I began to believe I was selfish, and tried as hard as I could to be more generous, etc.   Then one day, when I’d gone WAY out of my way for a friend who was “desparate” for help, only for her to say cavalierly “oh, never mind” and leaving me holding the bag….   I realized with a shock—Hey–I’m NOT selfish!   This effort for my friend was NOT the act of a selfish person.”

Getting back to the point though–training and habit.   My dad trained me to look out for others.   In retrospect, his constant physical health issues plus a (frankly) rather narcissistic personality can reframe some of his complaints as simple projections:  “*I* need to be the center of attention around here, and instead it’s always you kids.”   So I was trained.   And I developed habits of doing more and more for people who didn’t appreciate it, just as I was trained to do.   This isn’t a problem of lack of self-worth.   It’s a problem of habit and training.    Over years, I learned to watch myself, and realize when I was the one doing ALL the giving and the other person doing all the receiving.   I started noticing who always asked for help but never responded if I asked.   I learned to test situations by occasionally (heaven forbid!) ASKING for help.    And I learned that if you do too much giving, you’ll only get two results among your acquaintances:  Really good people will eventually become uncomfortable with their inability to keep up your pace of giving, and will back out of the relationship; and the ones who remain will be Users.   So it’s worth watching.

But talking to two of these friends, who are such wonderfully generous people, I just got more and more upset with the equation of great generosity = low self esteem.   Let’s stop beating ourselves up and simply learn better habits!