I was talking with a friend about the cycles of eclipses we are currently experiencing, and had the chance to tell her about Saros cycles – the cycles that begin any given series, and then repeat for hundreds to thousands of years.

For instance, this eclipse Saros cycle* (4 North) we’ve been experiencing during June began in 1389 and ends in 2633! Many are used to thinking about eclipses as harbingers of repetitive cycles, but this span of time puts a whole new twist on our habitual “patterns”. Did the issues we are experiencing today really begin in our childhood, or with our ancestors? Perhaps they originated on other worlds, planets, lifetimes. The possibilities make the mind spin.

Eclipse season does illuminate core habitual patterns. Mysterious, oft hard to pinpoint, ones.

And when things repeat in our lives it is easy to think that we’re moving backwards. To think: “I’m moving retrograde” (we may feel this way now about our nation, world, and its collective shadow).

Yet despite persistent, difficult, repetitive patterns, we evolve. Even when presented with a similar scenario from the past- as we often are during eclipse season- we gain the opportunity to recognize how much we’ve changed.

Everything changes, even when it feels like same stuff, different day, it is slightly different (yes, even under Covid). It can’t not be different. Various factors -time, others evolution, Consciousness itself- constantly shifts.

Most importantly, we are different. Even when Life appears to be moving backwards, YOU are not.

Retrograde

I have been enjoying watching a series called Being Erica.

It’s about a girl who time travels to her regrets, with a time- traveling therapist, and gets a second chance to glean understanding about her past regrets (rule: She cannot change the past). Her list of regrets is long, but as she diligently works on herself she makes great strides in her personal transformation. Fast forward two years later: She has learned so much, everything is going fantastic when one day she is dropped into a parallel universe where she is right back where she started. She understandably panics, at first, as old demons of self-doubt roar with a vengeance, devilishly suggesting the other Self- the one who is self-aware -was pure fiction, a wishful fantasy.

At a low point, she is on a bridge, contemplating what to do about this new-old reality, where she is literally at the bottom of the food chain all over again (dead end job and life). Then, talking with her self-doubt (externalized as the Spirit of her dead brother) she realizes that it doesn’t matter if she is in a time warp, no one believes her time travel story, and she’s at the bottom of the mountain all over again. She cannot un-learn what she has learned about herself. She cannot un-know what she now knows. She is different, she has changed.

This profound recognition of the I AM, the awareness of the present and True Self, that she can never lose the knowledge and wisdom she’s gained, catapults her right back into her “real” life. When she sees her therapist, again, she’s understandably pissed. What was the point of that cruel exercise? Of believing herself to be trapped in an existence where nothing ever changed? Her therapist replies: To see how far you’ve come. You did not lose your center. You were able to remember who YOU ARE, no matter how difficult the situation. You’ve changed.

Groundhog Day

I’ve had a similar experience over this eclipse season. Everything felt fairly fantastic, and then I had the perception I was moving retrograde. I do not believe the universe tests us, or teaches us lessons. I don’t believe it is possible to un-do hard-earned wisdom and knowing, or de-evolve. I do, however, feel the Soul always gives us the opportunity to figure out how to be even more peaceful, fulfilled, content in our lives than we already are. If the canvas of our life is beautiful and clear but there’s one little distracting black dot on it, we will get the chance to look at/change that.

Like the protagonist, Erica, in the earlier story, I found myself asking, “Despite all my hard work, what if this habitual pattern I keep experiencing never, ever, changes? What if this is THE reality” …and I had the chance to see that this fear is yet another form of self-doubt, the devil on the shoulder, keeping me from deeper levels of fulfillment.

What I’ve realized is similar to the Groundhog Day metaphor. The same old stuff can keep coming up over and over and over again. But I am different. I respond differently, even to seemingly same/similar situations.

I cannot un-know what I now know, no matter what comes up.

I can remember my center. I can breathe. I feel the ground. I remember to be in present time.

And with that Self-awareness, the differences shape-shift and become apparent in my reality.

Similar circumstances reveal themselves to be entirely different than what they once were.

Oh, yeah. I AM right here. I AM always right here, and my Awareness cannot be undone.

The planets, and the planet itself, may appear to be moving backwards. But I AM not.

Being Present

Sometimes it is very easy to get caught in the perception of believing our self to be stuck, or moving backwards, in a time loop. In a way, this IS a form of time traveling. The Ego mind goes on a journey. It remembers stories, energies, from the past, puts those to the tune of the present moment. It’s like the nostalgia of dancing to an old song, alone, on an old ship adrift at sea. The mind can be quite reflexive in its ability to persist in placing its trust in vague felt energies connected to the past – in past habits, doubts, emotions, experiences, fears.

Whether they originate in a past life or this one, the resolution only arrives by coming into this present moment.

The most powerful shift you can make with your habitual patterns of habit and memory is to come back into this timeless, present, moment. The present moment has no story. No words. It has only sensation (often waiting patiently to be fully felt, accepted and acknowledged) profound inwardness and a vast sense of peaceful inner expansion. There is no need for explanation about anything, figuring things out, or defining yourself in any way, and there is no trying to be other than. All that will only take you further away from this moment.

I AM is the reliable anchor. It is all we take with us; it is truly all we have at the end of our lifetime. It is the still and peaceful center. Imagine standing in a torrential hurricane and still being right here and okay. That’s: I AM. I AM has no need for the past, future, identity, expectations, or anything at all, really. It is that abundant and delicious — that full of trust and perfect contentment. Presence allows for everything to be, and unfold, as it will.

Forming a reliable relationship with Presence relies on our profound trust that All Is Well. Really and truly, we are Good. Even if calamity befell us, we would still be able to sit in the True, peaceful, center we are. It is always right here. Presence never, ever, goes away—even if our Ego mind does. So, recognizing that when we feel *not well* it is actually the Ego mind going on a journey elsewhere, leaving the present moment and disconnecting from our deeper reality, then, connecting back to that deep inner knowing, (and often) are infinitely useful habits.

And only the Present moment can show us how far we’ve come, how much we’ve evolved.

That we are not defined by our past. Even if our Ego persists in its time-traveling, we can still be right here.

One way I’ve been playing with Being Present is imagining the ocean water gently lapping at my feet. The small lapping waves are always right here, beckoning me home to my True Self, my I AM. Some times I feel Presence more strongly than at other times, but I can always feel the ocean playing at my feet. This helps my Ego to begin to, if not totally, recognize that I AM here. I allow it to spread throughout my body and feel this gentle warmth and tingling in my muscles, fascia and energy. When I can get to this point, I am really and truly GOOD.

I trust this practice of recentering into Truth will ebb away at the old habits, and eventually release them out to sea.

May this summer season offer you the blessing of unfolding into your True Self even more deeply!

Jessica