With the current boycott of spending advertising dollars on Social Media platforms, it reminded me that I was overdue in speaking out about our departure from Social Media last year, aka Social Media Distancing.

From the time the Information Super Highway was a dirt road, I have been an optimistic pessimist in regards to the Highway …reading Clifford Stolls: Silicon Snake Oil paved that Highway for me.

At the Sol Center, we had been questioning the efficacy of social media platforms for a long time. Cambridge Analytica, constant false news and adverts, personal privacy, the incendiary ramblings of elected officials, etc …it was all really just too anti-social, and not at all compatible with the verdant mindful mission of the Sol Center.

In the fall of 2019 it all became abundantly clear, that it was now the time to depart and no longer offer any support to Social Media platforms in any fashion.

The catalyst for this departure came about after reading what happened with Suzie Kelly and the loss of her retirement savings. The data that Facebook and Aristocrat had compiled about Suzie, allowed Aristocrat’s behavioral analytics to easily recognize and prey upon her gambling addiction, or that of any Facebook user.  Good News! Susie, and two other Plaintiffs were able to reach a class action agreement in principle totaling 155 million in the Spring of 2020.

Reading about the peril of Suzie, I had come to realize that our departure from Social Media needed to happen with immediate effect, Natasha understood and agreed. The business implications of a social media presence for the Sol Center or Natasha could no longer, in any form, be justified …and with that we were gone.

From a purely business perspective the decision was difficult, but it was conscience, reasoned, and liberating.

I do miss the adventures of: Felix at Huddersfield Station, Augie the Plant Doggie, my cousin washing his RV, Sadie Golden, and of course your adventures as well. So for now whilst we practice Social Media Distancing, I just imagine.

To be truly effective in forcing the hand of change on Social Media platforms, an entity cannot simply temporarily or permanently suspend the spending of advertising dollars. Entities must remove themselves from Social Media platforms entirely …and the same for individuals.

We are all feeling so much right now, processing a lot of news, figuring out how to prepare and how to adapt- at home and at work.  What we may not realize is that we are grieving as well.  Grieving for what is unfolding, for what will not be, and also for the unknowns of the future.

While this situation is enormously complex, and the effects of it all will affect us each differently, there is also something surprisingly unifying.  We are all in this together, it is not just one country or state or city or family.

Here are some tips and tools from my yoga, mindfulness, and grief practices to support your mind/mind/spirit in this trans-formative time.  I hope they can help, and I know personally they do.

  • Elisabeth Kubler-Ross laid out the 5 stages of grief:  denial, anger, sadness, bargaining, acceptance.  They were not her last words about the process and often are taken too literally, yet they are good signposts.  Notice what you are thinking and feeling- which one might apply to your current state of being with all this?
  • This is a chaotic time, whether your life has come to a full stop, or you are actively engaged in an essential function.  What can you do that helps you personally calm down, slow down, tune in, pause, and be present.  Ask yourself, “what am I aware of right now?…How am I relating to myself and the moment right now?…What is needed, if anything?..
  • One of the most powerful self-compassion tools is to bring your awareness to your heart center, or to breathe into your heart center, or to put your hand or hands upon your sternum.  Sometimes, this is enough.  Feel the sensations. No words needed.  Just the feeling of connecting to your heart center can be soothing. Think of this as stocking up on compassion, kindness, and patience too.
  • Find safe ways to express your feelings and ideally to feel them through for a few minutes at a time.  The more we deny, distract, project, suppress our feelings- the more problems they create in our body and in our relationships.  In lieu of a safe person, there is always pen and paper- write them down, let it rip, and rip it up or burn it if you are worried about it being read.  The point is to get it out, externalize it.  Sometimes it is pure catharsis (it is a good sign if you cry while you are writing), sometimes it leads to insight (it doesn’t have to), let go of analyzing why or problem solving (you can talk back to the voice that goes there quickly).
  • We all have different ways of processing our feelings:  exercise, dance, art, music, nature, talking, meditating, praying, playing.  You don’t have to put words to them, but you do need to feel them, honor them, let them flow rather than simply sit.  Emotion implies motion.  Give yourself permission to feel what you feel and see where it takes you.  There is a short poem by Mary Oliver that expresses this perfectly:
    We shake with joy, we shake with grief.
    What a time they have, these two
    housed as they are in the same body.
  • One practice I have been doing spontaneously lately is simple breath awareness, or conscious breathing.  Just being more aware of my breath coming and going throughout the day, as I am doing what I am doing.  Letting it be and appreciating what it is.  I am thinking of this as breath affiliation.  We all need to breathe to be alive.  Breath is the symbol of our birth and death.  For now I am indeed alive and well.  I can breathe well for all those that may be struggling.  Jon Kabat Zinn often said “practice as if your life depends on it, because it does.”  I always marveled that he made the mindfulness practice truly seem so critical. Today it truly is.

Take care

Natasha

Sol Center Friends,

The Sol Center is temporarily closing in response to the COVID-19 situation.

As there is no recipe to ensure everyone’s safety in gathering at the Sol Center, this decision was made to protect us all within our community and the community at large as well.

More news about what is happening will follow via email and our website.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me for support, at any time, and phone me at 520-628-9642.

Take care

Natasha

Your financial stake in the Sol Center during this time will be respected, in whatever way you might require.

Home

Space

Breathing

Just breathe

Breath

The space of infinite awareness

Awareness

Eyes open

See with clarity

Feel clarity

Clarity

Silver edged space

Stillness

Freedom

Space

Vast open awareness

Breath

The rhythm of space

Awareness

The calm

The awakening

Pain

Don’t run

Joy

Don’t run

For Now

Don’t run

Clarity

Burning up the seeds of fear

To be who you are now and now and now

The Space

That dissipates all raw emotions

And the space

That releases denial and coverup

And the space

That is awareness breath clarity

And Home

Vedic Astrology Highlights Fall 2015 & Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse September 27th

 

We have a Solar and Lunar Eclipse this month.  Here are the Highlights of what is UP.

The Solar Eclipse will occur later this night that I write.  It is partial and will not be visible to us in the USA.  Yet the energy of an eclipse effects the whole planet, perhaps more so where they are visible.

This occurs in the sign of Leo, in the later section of the constellation called Purva Phalguni- it is associated with wealth so there is some buzz in the astrology community about this having impact on the global economy.  Some say the wild ride the stock market just took is indicative of this energy fluctuation.  Particular effects may be felt for 6 months.

Eclipses are considered inauspicious periods to initiate new endeavors.  They are auspicious for spiritual attunement and refinement.  As we know, life often insists we do things in spite of the signs and omens.  Truly, the key is to have a daily practice that purifies your heart and mind in some way.  This is the key to weathering whatever will come.

It is also considered helpful when the solar eclipse happens before the lunar.  We always have eclipses in pairs and this time the lunar eclipse will follow and be fully visible for us in Tucson.  It is quite powerful as it is a total eclipse and the moon is close to the Earth in its orbit- this is called a super moon.  It is also interesting as it happens early in the evening- it will be fully eclipsed around 8pm Tucson time.  Easy to witness and meditate upon.

Again, there is lots of lore regarding everything and it is said that it is not good to be outside during an eclipse- that you are personally negatively affected by it.  But in this day and age, when we are disconnected from so many natural rhythms, I sense it is a remedy; a way to honor the subtle and the shadow element of life, to witness the celestial phenomenon and strengthen our commitment to light.

The lunar eclipse occurs Sunday night, September 27. It occurs in Pisces, in the section called Uttara Bhadra Pada.  It is associated with the flow of water, purification, renewal, and release from long held patterns.  It is the water that smooths the stones.  I hope you get to experience and enjoy this event in some way.

Lunar Eclipse Tucson

Mars in Leo: September 16-November 3

Mars is leaving its 2 month sojourn through the sign of Cancer, which is its sign of debility/ difficulty.

This is a big shift for Mars energy.  In anyone’s chart Mars signifies raw energy, courage, power, brothers, and land.  In the fire sign of Leo the King it regains its sense of being a spiritual warrior.  This is very significant if you are Aries or Scorpio Rising or Moon by birth. You will feel empowered again.

Sun in Virgo: September 17-October 17

The Sun will soon change signs- from Leo to Virgo.  There is quite a bit of intensity in this yearly visit as Rahu is here and Mercury turns retrograde this same day. September 22-24 are very intense Solar days.  Be extra mindful and curious.

Mercury Retrograde: September 17-October 8

Mercury is retrograde in its own sign of Virgo, that is good in ways as it spends more time in one of its places of power and amplifies all kinds of Mercury and Virgo related things:  intellectual and organizational activities, service and healing matters especially.  It backtracks right into the Sun, full combustion, September 29-30. These are days that Virgo or Mercury people could feel inspired yet depleted.  It retrogrades into Rahu October 7-8 and then goes direct.  These could be interesting days for Mercury’s mental energy- creativity and innovation abound.  But be careful with important decisions.  Rahu is a trickster energy!

 

Wisdom speaker Natasha Korshak, will be at Sacred Space with Stephen Pedone accompanying on gutiar Sunday 8/9/15 at 4:15pm

Natasha will explain to us the foundations, guide us, and help us practice Yoga Nidra also known as iRest (not an apple product). This traditional Yoga practice helps heal ills such as anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and PTSD. Yoga Nidra is a simple and doable meditation that reminds us of our intentions and our potential to break through limiting perceptions that generate stress and tension. Natasha’s teaching will also help us understand how this practice can be applied to daily life.

Sacred Space, 3202 E 1st Street Tucson …click for map.

Natasha Korshak is an Interfaith Contemplative Minister, Yoga Teacher, and Director of the Mindfulness Programs of Tucson.

Stephen Pedone is an aspiring accountant, musician and renaissance man.

Winter Solstice 2014 – Dakshinayana

Solstice in our hemisphere marks the shortest day, the longest night, and the beginning of Winter. In the Vedic Calendar the period from Summer to Winter Solstice is called Dakshinayana , the dark half of the year.  The energy of waning light is similar to the dark half of the month, but more pronounced.

In mythology this part of the year is when the demons prevail and the gods are subdued.  The correlation to human affairs has been to traditionally use the dark half of the year for planning and purification as the tide of consciousness is more negative.

The exact point of Solstice in Tucson will occur at 4:03 pm on December 21st 2014, followed by the New Moon at 6:35 pm. An interesting coincidence this year is that the moon is also very dark, meaning close to the Sun.  They are in the constellation called Mula which means root and aligns with the center of or our galaxy.  In Vedic Astrology this constellation has deep significance.  It is place of healing and reconciliation if one knows how to be fierce and work with darkness.

It is a powerful day to pause and reflect on events and experiences of the last six months, or deeper back into your past.  Our lives move fast.  We have much that is undigested and unassimilated that yearns for the light of our consciousness to return to it.  We are easily distracted from what really matters.  Now is the ideal time.

Ask yourself: What has occurred? What has impacted me?  What needs light?  What is the essential message for my healing?  What will help me more forward anew?  Be brave. Be kind.  Be Fierce.  As Krishna says to Arjuna on the eve of his battle, “On this path no effort is wasted, no gain is ever reversed; even a little of this practice will shelter you from great sorrows.”