Solstice…Jupiter/Saturn Conjunction…So What?

As you may know, December 21st marks the shortest day of the year (winter solstice) as well as the closest Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in 800 years–both of which are a very big deal in astrology.

Now, while I don’t believe the alignment of the planets has any direct impact on our lives here on earth–any more than I believe that the big hand on the 12 and the little hand on the 6 causes dinnertime—I do believe in the natural expansion and contraction of energy in the universe, and that these astrological markers are symbolic of these phases, just as the hands on the clock in a certain position are symbolic of the phases of our daily activities.

With that in mind, I do believe it is useful and powerful to align our intentions and actions to the very real shifts in the energy field around us.

In my last newsletter I wrote about the phases of the breath—inhale and exhale—and our planet literally has phases of inhale and exhale as well.  (Did you know that global carbon dioxide levels increase in winter and decrease in summer because of the shifting light cycles and its effect on photosynthesis?) 

For me, the energy of these last few days of the solar year is an opportunity to fully exhale thoughts, habits, behaviors, and relationships that don’t serve.

We all love the feeling of expansion, but one of the reasons why change is difficult and New Years’ resolutions often don’t work is because we haven’t gotten rid of the old to make room for the new.  If we don’t lighten our load how can we expect to be able to take on more?

2020 has been the darkest, heaviest and most energetically negative year of my life.  On top of political, economic and pandemic nightmares, for health reasons–pre-diabetes–I’ve given up alcohol, sugar, and almost all carbs.   (Aargh! No more pizza!)  A shoulder injury has forced me to give up playing golf and guitar—sources of pleasure, creativity and identity for over 40 years.  

But the good news is, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  So what’s the opportunity to “exhale” just a little bit more, contracting here now just a little bit more, to allow for even greater expansion next year? 

Is anyone else losing energy down the sinkhole of social media/cell phone distraction? What’s the energetic cost of mindless behavior? I wonder what new, more interesting activities I would have energy for if I didn’t continually leak my juice checking my news feed again and again?

It all sounds simple enough, perhaps, but changing behavior is difficult.  It requires an investment of energy and commitment, and oftentimes accountability. Perhaps more than anything, it requires the celebration of the small steps, the witnessing and the celebration of the daily succeeding that leads to success—the secret sauce of my coaching.

If your desire for 2021 is to be the equal and opposite of 2020, click here for a free breakthrough coaching session.


Don’t Take a Deep Breath

Most people who receive my newsletter care a lot about their health.  And typically we think of good health as being mostly about eating right and getting sufficient exercise. 

And while “shoulding” on ourselves for not exercising more is close to the universal self-judgment, we can go a lifetime without exercising– though it may be shorter and feel considerably less vital.

People obsess most about what food they’re eating, or shouldn’t be eating, but humans can go 30 days or more without food at all.

A more complete approach to healthfulness also includes sleep and hydration habits.  However–curiously, considering we can only go 10 days without sleep and 4 days without water—attention to proper hydration and sleep are typically farther down our good health priority list then diet and exercise.

Remarkably, most people put ZERO attention on the most important element of their health: oxygen. 

Humans can live for only 3-4 minutes without oxygen, yet very few people put conscious attention on their relationship with this most vital of all elements to life.

Lucas Roy Lehman

The typical resting breath pattern of a modern human is shallow and fairly rapid, with the inhalation primarily into the upper areas of the lungs.  Stress, anxiety, and depression only exacerbate this pattern, and while exercise is good for working the lungs, it takes conscious attention to breathe into the mid and lower lung areas to maximize lung capacity and oxygenation of the blood.

So, while the notion of pausing to take a deep breath is always a good idea to de-stress and bring yourself to greater presence, an even better idea would be to give a complete exhale first!  Because if you don’t fully exhale all the carbon dioxide from your lower lungs, there’s no room for you to really take a deep inhale of fresh oxygen.

Try this: Take a moment here to notice how you’re normally breathing.  Notice particularly how much exhale there is still left when you typically begin to inhale.  And now, on your next breath, exhale more, even more, maybe even squeezing your belly a little bit to get the last of the old breath out.  Maybe even pause for a second at the bottom of the outbreath.  Then slowly and evenly breathe into your lower belly before filling your upper lungs.  Now pause again for a moment at the top of the in-breath, noticing what it’s like to really feel the fullness of your lungs.

Do that three times and notice if maybe the light seems a little brighter, or your brain feels a little clearer, or your body feels a little more energized.

That’s oxygenation. 

So from now on, don’t ever take a deep breath…until you give a complete exhale first.

— Lucas