Mercury goes retrograde and I go sober!

Whelp! Mercury is back in retrograde again since the 5th after being absent since October. Interestingly enough we have 4 retrogrades this year, instead of the usual 3. Our first one has already kicked off until the 25th of January and I’ve already been feeling some major effects. If you don’t know what Mercury retrograde is, retrograde means that this planet appears as if it’s going backwards for a few weeks. It’s not, it’s just an illusion, but when a planet retrogrades it means that the ruling characteristics of that planet can “go to shit”, to put it lightly. Since Mercury is the ruler of communication, technology, and travel expect unsent emails, travel delays, misunderstandings and miscommunications.

If you happen to be a Virgo or a Gemini then you are more affected than others during Mercury’s particular retrograde because it is your ruling planet. Being a Taurus/Gemini cusp myself, I’ve always felt the immense power of this retrograde especially being the communicator and writer that I am. Let’s just say I hate being misunderstood and Mercury can make us feel a bit crazy when communications become unclear.

A friend once told me that Mercury retrograde is like the bad house guest who comes over, messes everything up, leaves a whirlwind in your life and personal space, yells at you and then leaves. She isn’t wrong, but this REtrograde is also a great time to REevaluate, REview, REnew, REfocus and REflect. Being that we are also starting a new year with a retrograde is a great time to REanalyze 2015 and start looking ahead. It’s a great time to go through old journals, facebook posts, and blogs to see where you were at and where you are now. The differences may be subtle but I promise you’ll make some interesting observations about the direction your life is going or is about to go. So don’t make the retrograde a bad thing, turn it into a chance to REfresh yourself for the next chapter! Be careful though, Mercury has a way of bringing the past into the forefront of our present! This can be a good thing or a bad thing, just be careful not to make any commitments to anything or anyone major during the retrograde phase. 

I read an article a few days ago titled, ’10 things that happen to your body after 2 weeks without alcohol’ and thought, what a great idea to REflect on 2015 than by starting 2016 out with 2 weeks sober! I thought it would be a great chance to bring myself into the present and spend some quality time digging deep and checking in with myself and my intentions. Well, what a nice thought I joked later that day as we finished our dives and my customer said to me, “would you like a beer!?” I guess you don’t have to twist my arm too hard because I did in fact want to share a cold beer, apres dive, with this lovely lady. Fast forward 3 days and I woke up with a hangover worse than New Years Day and realized that the universe planted this idea in my head on the very first day of retrograde, and although I have put it together in the past few days, it’s obviously something I need to do. So we are 36 hours in to our sobriety and I woke up at 6 AM with a migraine, then at 8 am to rush to the bathroom to vomit, followed by 6 hours of vomiting and rubbing peppermint oil on my forehead. The migraine has finally passed, in the same way all my aura migraines do, the atmospheric pressure is exceptionally high, and I’m glad to have a clear head to be listening to the lessons the universe will show me over the next 16 days. I spent the last hour doing a pineal gland cleansing meditation and it was made clear to me that this is exactly the way I need to spend this retrograde and my next few weeks. 

Because communication gets so twisted during the retrograde, it’s a great time to learn to trust our intution. When actual conversations can be so misinterpreted, without our intuition we may find ourselves frustrated and looking for an escape. Whether it’s a drink, a cigarette, or a social media binge,  all these things do is distract us from our own presence. I think that spending this retrograde really listening to myself and trying to focus my energy on being here now is the best way I can honor 2015 and welcome 2016. Whatever RElease you’ve been feeling from 2015, find a way to let it go so that you can fully move into 2016. Use this retrograde as an opportunity for growth instead of hibernating in your house and cursing your appliances for deciding to go on the fritz. Mercury will be back to it’s usual ways soon enough, don’t stress! 

For more updates on my retrograde journey follow me on snapchat @smilelotsplz. 

Do I need a reason to write?

I haven’t written in 2 months, it’s Christmas Eve and I’m sitting on my bed in Mexico without any sheets because I’ve decided the holidays are a good time for laundry. I just spent the last hour writing about how I haven’t written lately only to accidentally delete the whole thing when it was near completion. Do you see the irony in that? Oops. So, I’ll start fresh instead of trying to rewrite the past.

In the last 5 years I’ve spent the holidays in Minnesota, Thailand, Oregon and Mexico. I’ve spent all Christmas’ except one scuba diving, and every New Years Day in the water.

But I have today off, due to the port being closed and tomorrow off because all the captains in Mexico refuse to work Christmas, which is good for them. I kind of forgot that Mexico is a Catholic country, I got used to walking amongst the Buddhists.

When I talk about Thailand I still use the word, “we” as if I’m still there, as if I’m still connected to it and identify with it, as if it’s mine somehow. I guess it is, it’ll always have my heart.

Mexico hasn’t been a smooth transition due to some unfortunate events, but I do like it here and I haven’t written because I’ve been trying to immerse myself- in the people, in the culture, in the moment, in my diving.

A customer said to me yesterday that the reason he dives is because in that moment it never matters what happened earlier that day or what you’re going to do an hour from now, all that matters is what’s right in front of you. He’s right about that, diving is the ultimate lesson in mindfulness. I’ve been spending almost 4 hours average below sea level a day since I started work a few weeks ago. I love the steady stream of bubbles, the way it sounds and feels, the weightlessness, the way the light comes through and the way the rain drops look hitting the surface as I’m coming up from a dive.

Most of all I love sharing it with people. I’m happiest here, doing this.

I’m sitting here on Christmas Eve feeling like time has stopped for the first time in 2 months. It’s a wave of emotions every time; my Taurus/Gemini cusp of energy allows me to move freely between different spheres, from diving instructor to small town girl to super Yachtie, and everywhere in between. I’m adaptable, easily swept into new things, and wherever I am I’m 100% in. It can be a bad thing or a good thing because I’m prone to burning the candle at both ends if I don’t balance properly.

So it’s almost 2016 and instead of all that “new year, new me” bullshit, I’m looking back on the previous year, 2 years, 7 years and realizing that I don’t have any massive plans for this year. I’m really happy with where I am right now and I’m feeling a maturity and trust in the universe that I haven’t felt before, not to this extent.

I’m blessed to live the life I live and be sitting where I’m sitting, even if it is Christmas Eve, my family is far away, and I’m currently sitting on a sheetless bed in an empty house in Mexico. It might sound unappreciative but I feel the most like me right now.

I can feel that 2016 is going to give me the most important relationships of my life because my heart is open to them. My intuition has shown me the importance of a daily continuous practice. I’ve finally found my groove here, a schedule again: a new appreciation for ashtanga yoga, reconnecting with my meditation practice, a love of pedaling mi bicicleta everywhere along the beach, being back under the sea…

I wrote in my journal last year 5 goals for 2015:

  • quit smoking (that didn’t last long)
  • IDC Staff Instructor (boom)
  • silent meditation retreat (boom)
  • getting off birth control and reconnecting with my body (boom)
  • AIDA freediving course (do something that scares you- boom)

For 2016 I’ve decided there’s no checklist. I’m on the ‘no plan’ plan. I don’t want to focus on the future. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a plan or that insight and goals aren’t important, I’m just saying that I’ve planted enough seeds and grown my own garden the past few years and I’m feeling a kind of internal guidance when I think about the future.

By focusing on the present moment I have every confidence that I will always end up exactly where I need to be.

So Merry Christmas to all of you! Thank you for supporting me, loving me, encouraging me and believing in me. Thank you for taking the time to read my words and thank you for the feedback I’ve received. Thank you to everyone that I don’t know that’s reached out- your words have melted my heart. Thank you to acquaintances that have turned into friends via conversation and a mutual respect.

Most of all, thank you to my family and friends. You truly are who you surround yourself with, and I’m blessed to close out 2015 surrounded by inspiring and supportive souls who spark the fire in my heart every day. YOU have made me ME.

THANK YOU. NAMASTE.

From my empty mattress in Mexico- Happiest of Holidays,
Lauryn