When Mercury turns retrograde 3-4 times each year, it gets a pretty bad rep. All of a sudden, panic seems to takes over and your social media threads are inundated with survival guides and a giant planetary warning tattooed on its face.
I’m not immune to this, really. I published my own survival guide about a year ago and it wasn’t until recently – i.e. a week or so ago – that I developed a different perspective to this traditionally chaotic time of year. Typically, a period of Mercury retrograde is associated with things like:
- Broken down subways
- Lost emails
- Petty fights with your partner
- Running late…to everything
- Dead laptops
- Cracked iPhone screens
- Regrettable major life choices (buying a house, starting a new biz, etc.)
- Miscommunications galore
And look – this isn’t entirely wrong. Mercury governs the worlds of communication and technology so, when it turns retrograde, these aspects of our lives can take a bit of a beating.
That said, I’ve come to view Mercury’s seemingly backwards spiral as a blessing.
In the absolutely bonkers society we find ourselves in right now, the idea of emails being sent accidentally and texts going MIA seems like the end of the world. We rely so heavily on technology that our entire lives can be turned upside down when they do exactly what machines do…break down and act up.
Kind of a sad State of the World, huh?
Instead, here’s how I propose to enjoy the next two weeks while Mercury is in retrograde:
Slowing the F**k Down. The easiest way to avoid those stereotypical retrograde mishaps is to Slow. The. F**k. Down. Take a few moments to spellcheck your email. Pause to consider your words before snapping back at your spouse. Read and re-read that project summary to your boss. Instead of viewing this time as an inconvenience, turn that mindset on its head and think of it as a blessing to slow down and be more present in your daily tasks.
Disconnect from Technology. Something really crazy happened to me about a week ago…
I got put in Instagram jail.
If you’re envisioning a cyber Monopoly board with the letters, DO NOT PASS GO in your head, social media jail is a sort of virtual timeout zone where you go when you’ve done something bad. Or, in my case, try to clean up your account after a hack. It’s a truly long and dull story that I won’t bore you with, but in essence I’ve been blocked from posting, liking, commenting, or doing anything but scroll on Instagram until February 20th (yes, Instagram turned me into a cyber voyeur of sorts).
At first, I was PISSED. Then, I had a crazy thought…
I’ve been given a literal break from social media for an entire week.
I’m not saying you should go and intentionally violate Facebook or Instagram’s terms, but what I am proposing is a bit of a hiatus from the screens for the next few weeks. Instead of scrolling and double-tapping and swiping left, maybe we can use this time to connect with some living, breathing humans. Maybe, and here’s a crazy idea, CALL YOUR FRIENDS instead of texting them. Or better yet, meet them for coffee or a drink. Got a question for your coworker? Walk the 20 feet to their office and ask them in person instead of shooting out an email. Let’s use this time for meaningful, tangible CONNECTION!
Get Creative. Mercury retrograde is a beautiful time to stretch your right brain and get creative. Give that analytical, planning part of your brain a rest and use this time to express yourself – free and fun!
Personally, I’ve picked up painting again and am obsessed with jewelry making. I’ve been journaling up a storm and, as you can tell from this post, I’m writing for fun again. Do all of these activities have the potential to become left-brain business opportunities? Of course. But all of that is on hold until this period of retrograde is over. For now, it’s all about exploring and enjoying creative outlets just as they are –
Creating for the sake of creating!
Do an Introspective Check-In. Along those same lines, Mercury retrograde is a great time to take stock of our lives and see what is and isn’t working. How has 2020 been treating you so far? Have you been working towards the intentions you set back in January or have you lost your way a bit?
Remember, the goal here isn’t to go into full-on planning mode and schedule yourself a daily personal trainer. Use this time to simmer – journal, dream, envision.
Personally, I’m in the midst of a major life shift. It’s on the horizon, and I’ve been feeling it energetically since November. Instead of stressing about these changes, I’m using this time of space to meditate and pray. A lot. I’m giving myself permission to dream about what life might look like if certain things were different. And most importantly, I’m not judging any of these thoughts and dreams that arise. I am, quite literally, just sitting with myself and pondering; it’s incredibly freeing, actually.
Practice Saying What You Truly Mean. Look, I’m from the midwest. And midwesterners have a pretty solid reputation for being overly nice. We aren’t Canada-nice, but we will hug every stranger we meet and offer to buy you a pop every chance we get. If you’ve met me during my time in New York, your first reaction (like every cab driver I’ve ever encountered has noticed) was probably something along the lines of:
Wow, she’s so nice!
Now I’m not admitting that deep-down I’m some sort of psychopath, but I am a real life human with real life emotions. I get mad. I get upset. I experience frustration and a general pissedoffness just like you. So one thing I’m working on this retrograde is better expressing those emotions. After all, miscommunication is a lot harder when you’re being direct and forthcoming about what it is you’re communicating.
If I’m having a difficult day, instead of replying, “Oh I’m fine, how about you?” I’m practicing a little more truth. I might say something like, “You know, it’s been a tough day” or “I’m feeling a little sad right now” or “I could use some support.” The same goes for how I’m communicating with my husband and loved ones; if I’m feeling hurt, I am kindly saying just that. If I’m confused, I’m asking for clarity. If I need help, I’m asking for it – point blank.
Is it scary to be vulnerable like that? YES. But does it cultivate a world where we can all feel safe to express ourselves? YES. Most importantly – vulnerability paves the way for compassion, a trait this country can use a hell of a lot more of right now.
How can you enjoy this time of retrograde? Share your thoughts, ideas & musings in the comments below – I am, as always, inspired deeply by you.