Astrological retrogrades are all about self-discovery and lessons learned. They invite us to deeply connect with, reflect, and know ourselves from the inside out. They also give us an opportunity to dive deep inside of ourselves and explore how each planet in retrograde and the signs they are transiting impact us.
Mercury Retrograde is one of my favorite astrological retrogrades. It is connected to the fast-moving planet Mercury. Mercury’s energy impacts communication, technology, and travel. For me, Mercury Retrograde is an invitation to slow down, become present, and practice my birthright of mindfulness in how I think, communicate, and connect with myself and others. It happens three or four times each year. When it arrives, it hangs around for approximately three weeks.
A few years ago, I renamed my personal Mercury Retrograde to Mercury Upgrade because I began to appreciate its energy and the lessons I learned that opened my heart up to be more present, well, and the REAL ME. In short, Mercury Upgrade helps me embrace Thriving Mindfully in my life, relationships, and career.
During the early days of the global pandemic in 2020, I began observing and embracing Mercury’s shadow period which happens two weeks before and two weeks after the actual retrograde. I consider the pre and post-shadow periods as my VIP Mini Mercury Upgrades. That means I get approximately 7 whole weeks 3 to 4 times a year to practice mindful self-care as I review and recommit to thinking, communicating, connecting, and using technology in mindful, intentional, and healthy ways.
Last night, I led my Thriving Mindfully Academy’s monthly mindful self-care class that incorporated the May theme of “Strengthen Yourself,” Digital Wellness Month, and Mercury Upgrade (my name for Mercury Retrograde that starts May 10 and ends June 3) into breathing exercises, gentle movement, affirmations, mantra chanting, meditation, and mindful reflection and journaling.
The class gave the Thriving Mindfully Academy members an opportunity to check-in with themselves about:
■how they are using technology
■their struggles with technology (digital distraction, digital overload, social media comparison, digital time overdosing, and tension and tightness in the body)
■stress caused by their use of technology
■one step they can take to practice digital wellness during May and Mercury Retrograde
At the end of the class, I encouraged Thriving Mindfully Academy members to use our self-led Digital Wellness Month Challenge as invitation to take better care of themselves. I also shared my recent reflection on the number of years I have had 24/7/365 access to technology at home. It started in 1996. That means it’s been 26 years. I didn’t realize I needed to practice digital wellness until I experienced digital overload and burnout after publishing my self-love and yoga-inspired novel, Love’s Troubadours. My coach Yael Flusberg brought it to my attention during one of our conversations in 2008. That was a light bulb moment that shined light on making digital wellness a priority.
I am using Digital Wellness Month and Mercury Retrograde to release and forgive my social media comparison habits about my journey as an entrepreneur that have wreaked havoc on my nervous system. It’s a process (fo’ sure)! My mindful self-care practices of deep breathing, meditation, affirmations, tapping, reiki, and yoga are helping me take better care of my nervous system. I am also easing up on the amount of time I spend online and downsizing my social media with indefinite tech breaks on Facebook and Twitter.