water bearerAnnouncement: Valentine’s Day Weekend, Mountain View, CA & Jessica Shepherd

I’m making a live television appearance on the Bay Area television station KRON 4 News, to be aired on Saturday morning, February 13 at 8:45 AM. So do tune in! That same evening I also have a book talk at East West Books in Mountain View, CA at 7:30 PM, to be followed by a Love Alchemy Workshop on Sunday, 2/14, (Valentine’s Day) from 1:00- 3:30 PM at that same location. For the workshop or book talk, call 800-909-6161 to reserve a spot.

Aquarius New Moon : Joining the Human Family

As I prepare for a smashing three event book tour this weekend, I am taking Saturday’s Aquarius New Moon message to heart. The most challenging thing in preparing for this weekend is my own insecurity, which is not just my own. Public opinion polls have told us that the fear of public speaking ranks right up there with death.  My ego gets that. Along with attempting to channel the embodied grace of Kate Winslet, I’m also trying to find that balance of practical preparation (can I explain this in a one-liner? what material should I focus on? should I memorize this?) and simple self-trust. Since it’s smart to seek out wise folk who have done this before, I’ve asked various professionals & friends for advice on how one should prepare oneself for a first-time media appearance.

Here it is:

‘You have a way with words (apparently after having explained Mercury retrograde to him so well)…I am not worried about you at all.’ (my dentist of 10 years)
‘Don’t wear stripes or patterns. Smile, breathe, enjoy your self…You’ll do great.’ (my new publicist)
‘I never use notes. Channel the material.’ (my intuitive and clairvoyant friend)
‘Don’t wear green. Or patterns.’ (my office mate’s husband who also films commercials) Got it. No patterns.
‘The best advice I can give you is from Susan Love (a breast specialist) who said, ‘If you really want to do it, no one can stop you from succeeding.’ (my husband) I interpreted this to mean the only person who can create a successful situation, is me.

Their advice has run the gamut, and has been well-meaning. I’m grateful for it. Yet if I tried to create a patchwork blanket out of it, it wouldn’t keep me warm at night. I am getting the message that a) i am (using the small ‘i’ intentionally) still incredibly insecure (geesh, thought I kicked that bad habit last year) and b) no one can help me be more prepared than I already am.

I even made an appointment with a media coach; she had to cancel due to a death in the family. Do you think the world is trying to tell me something?

The best advice I’ve received is the piece I decided to give myself, after coming up with a big, fat empty on the others. Trust your self. If you can stay in your body, in your own heart space and speak from that, you’ll do fine. Don’t try and say what you think other people want you to say. Trust your self. Can I get a YES!?!

For me, the simple lesson of Aquarius New Moon (falling in my Fifth House of Self-Expression) is trusting my self and my responses. Built into that Aquarian act is also the Aquarian fear of not doing so. The sign of Aquarius can cater to others’, like no other. The archetype for truth-telling has a tendency to second guess it’s own truth; to mold his or her self into who someone else (culture, society) wants him or her to be. So they can break away. Aquarius needs to go beyond the personal experience, and become joined to the human family – and the way to do that is to do human things. Like suffer. Fall down a few times. Encounter injustice and let out a rebel yell. To break down those barriers of expectation by staying rooted in one’s authenticity. As the force of what consensus reality requires of us presses ever inward on the soul, Aquarius, the Trickster asks the water-bearer to take other people’s opinions and thoughts to heart. Under the influence of others, we might do and even say things we would never otherwise do. The shadowland of Aquarius is an internal reality resembling an opinion-nation. One where we try and piece together a self from the hodgepodge of stuff, distractions, information overload coming at us on the outside, and not from the raw messy stuff within. The messy stuff joins us to one another’s humanity.

The Teacher of Aquarius is asking you to trust your own heart’s truth. I wish trusting one’s own truth were so simple. As I’m talking about behaving and speaking, personally, I can tell when I’m speaking authentically because I can feel it in my body: my heart is present in my words. That’s my ‘sign’ that I’m on track.Yet, I do jump track and go all over the place just like the other guy. I’m not as far gone as bad boy John Mayer (mars square mercury) but I do have Uranus rising, so sometimes uncontrolled wild-child outrageousness slips through. So yes, ultimately and reluctantly, I’m ready for the newest phase of the experiment, of becoming more public, and more human. Even if I insert foot in mouth, or babble on, or just freeze up on live camera, I know it will endear me to the rest of you. Our suffering, our insecurity, our radical acts of authenticity, makes us more alike, than not.