venus retrograde: six weeks to figure out what you love

night sky

something big is happening in the stars again.

back in the beginning of july i eluded to the fact that this month was lining up to be an intense, powerful, inspiring month. i like to call it the summer of love. (read what i said about it –> here).

we’ve made it through one full moon, one new moon, and we have another full moon ( a blue moon actually) waiting in the wings.

but, first, we have what an encounter with venus… you know the goddess of love, the planet closest to us, and boy will this encounter give us an interesting ride.

beginning today, 40 days of venus retrograde begins. (july 25 – september 6)

if you remember, retrograde is when, if you look up in the night sky, it appears that something is moving backwards across the sky. of course, it actually isn’t, but the illusion of it seems to stir up lots of crazy things + powerful opportunities.

back in the late spring, we experienced mercury retrograde, which made things feel all topsy turvy. well, venus retrograde isn’t going to make us feel so scattered + out of control as we were back in the spring, but it will give us an amazing, emotional, intense opportunity to reassess our life.

especially when it comes to love. (makes sense, huh? being the name of the goddess of love?)

when venus turns retrograde today, we are being asked to look at exactly what love means for each of us. i am talking about love of others in our life, self-love, and what we have prioritized in our life.

as kate says: over the next 40 days, “we will have two options: to hide in the shadows and miss the opportunity of a lifetime, or to go after what is inside of our hearts.  it’s not a question of if we will make a big jump—but a matter of when. and there is a push to literally look around and see what truly makes us happy.”

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venus is giving us a chance to realign our awareness on love, relationships, what we value and what we’re worth. it’s a mystical, magical and important period that doesn’t come around all that often. it’s a time to reflect on the inner value of your experiences rather than outer display.

it’s all up to us whether we want to take advantage of this time to reflect and realign and take stock on what + who is really important to us. those things that we are most passionate about, that we really truly love, and are advantageous to our lives by helping us to live our truth.

the venus retrograde period turns out to be the perfect time to focus on the quality of life over the desire for financial gain, in other words, we get to decide for oversells what’s more important. money, power, success, security… or an authentic life, love, peace, etc. it’s ok whatever we choose. the point is to slow down just long enough to really think about what we are giving our time + attention to, what we say we love, and see if those two things line up. we are given a chance to reassess our priorities, in our work and in the people that we invite into our lives,  focusing on our inner need for contentment and fulfillment and what/who really makes us happy.

either way, this retrograde period is tempting us to reconsider our approach to relationships of all kinds: what’s important to us? what (and who) do we want in our lives, and why? and more importantly, what we have to offer?

sunset sweden

venus retrograde is a time when we may be forced to re-examine what we consider “worth it.” if we use the next 6 weeks wisely, we will think about the activities, people and things in which we have invested our time, energy, commitment and money… and if what they are giving us are the rewards we thought we had bargained for. not monetarily, of course, but in relation being true to ourselves + following our bliss.

it’s all about continuing to realign ourselves to that path in life where we feel that we are living our truth, living the life that we were called to live. 

again, kate says this: “we have to trust all the lessons in letting go of what was no longer serving us. and we have to believe that we have learned a lot about how we want to authentically live our lives.

venus will be in retrograde until september 6th… so take a deep breath, because this retrograde will be anything but casual. it’s all about how deep we can go”

lots of love to you all… and happy venus retrograde!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

week twenty seven // music + laughter + lots of summer sun

hello everyone! it’s a new week again, and this week i am away on vacation with my wife + our extended swedish family + friends.

we’ve gone off the grid and gotten wild. it’s that time of year when we head out to the archipelago in southern sweden (southish of västervik, fellow swedes). all we do is relax, enjoy each other, eat, have fika, sleep, rest, laugh, sunbathe. pretty much soak up the magical swedish nature and each other.

so, since i’m doing that right now and not actually writing this blog post when you read it, i’m just gonna get right to the photos from a super summery, beautiful last week. enjoy!

monday working coffee fika zola taco working coffee

elton john in concert! we picnicked outside the stage area with a few other people… hehe.picnic uppsala castle elton john picnic uppsala elton john me picnic beer river uppsala uppsala sunset uppsala
an 18 hour stop in norrkōping (our old hometown) on our way to the archipelago

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onwards + upwards! xoxo

the photos are only through friday night because… no phone serve or internet service out in the archipelago. you’ll get those all of  photos when i get back to civilization. hehe. in the meantime, i’ve got a few other posts scheduled for while i’m gone, so check back here on wednesday + friday! happy week, loves!

the summer solstice: magic + light + energy = time to follow your bliss

it’s nine in the evening as i write this, and the solstice is upon us.

monday-sunset-june

monday’s sunset

today, in the northern hemisphere, we are celebrating the longest day of the year. the day that is the culmination of all of the light-gathering that has been occurring since the winter solstice back  in december. every day since then, we have been marching forward to this very moment. this moment when light and warmth and heat are the most powerful + abundant.

we celebrate being alive. being aware. and where we have come from since our last solstice.

tuesday-sunset-june.

tuesday’s sunset

what did you imagine for your life back in december? whether you were celebrating the solstice back then or not, it was the end of 2014, and with that ending, i am certain that we all said a few prayers or had a few dreams and wishes for the new year that was upon us. what were yours? do you remember?

if you were reading my blog back then, then you might have even joined me in picking a word for 2015 – a word to light your way, to inspire you + to guide you. what was your word? have you thought about it? have you used it? is it still relevant?

 if you didn’t pick a word, then what would your word be now – for the last 6 months of 2015 that lie ahead of us? what do you want or need to focus on?

wednesday-sunset-june.

wednesday’s sunset

as part of my summer solstice celebration today, i have gone back to my journal and my blog posts at the end of 2014. i have reread the things that i wrote, and brought up the old feelings and hopes that i had locked deep inside me as i wondered what 2015 would bring me as i chose my word for 2015: empowered.

here’s some of what i wrote last december about choosing the word empowered.

“for 2015 i am focusing on the power that is within me to push me to follow through with many things that i need + want in my life. the word feels just perfect to me. ultimately it is simply a kick in the ass. a movement from being to doing. and yet, all of my action comes from a deeply grounded place within me. it feels like a balanced word. a balance from the power that i can draw from the well of my soul, that thrusts me forward. it’s a word that reminds me that there are things to do and a life to live and it’s time to make shit happen. no holding back. i am fearless. powerful. ready. disciplined. that right… i’m empowered.”

in many ways, i have been embracing + living out my word. but, in many ways, i also have much, much more to do.

however, when i slow down just enough to really think about it… though i may not have burst on the scene of 2015 with guns blazing, like i thought i would. and, even if it has taken me some time to “find myself” again, now that i am back in sweden. i realize that it needed to take me a while to settle in.

but, here’s the critical part: in all of those processes over the past 6 months, i have found myself now at a crossroads, a jumping off point. it’s as if i can just now see that the first 6 months were the groundwork i needed to do in order to launch into my active cycle of empowerment for the second part of the year. i’ve been building the power within, and now it’s time for it all to burst out and push me forward.

thursday-sunset-june.

thursday’s sunset

it’s time to fly, baby!

and you know what? it really is time for us to fly. that’s what the summer solstice is all about. what we’ve been holding close to our hearts for the past six months is aching to be released into the here and now. the energy has been building, and today, when the sun is high + the day is long + the light is oh so bright, today, is the culmination and gathering of all of that energy.

midsummer-sunset-june.

friday’s sunset: midsummer’s eve in sweden (not take at my apartment. we are at a party)

the word solstice means the standing of the sun and it is also time for us to stop, be still, listen to our inner voice, remember past promises to ourselves and make preparations for the road ahead. on the solstice we have the luxury of being still and gathering all of that energy. at the winter solstice, we cast our dreams out into the universe, inspired by the magic of the winter darkness. since then everything has been on its journey outward towards manifestation, the journey towards light. with the summer solstice the process of everything turning inward begins once more. now is when our intentions are set to propel us towards our dreams.

today, during the summer solstice, we are at our brightest, most filled with magic and light and energy. as i read somewhere else, “the soil of our soul is ripe for manifesting”. now is the time, friends to live with our true purpose. to embrace fully our own true path.

we are filled with energy, excitement, expectation, and positivity. if we don’t quite feel that way today, the feeling will come. everything in the universe is conspiring with us to help us follow our bliss. right now, as if the light + power of midsummer were not enough, the moon is becoming is increasing in size, towards its next full moon.

saturday-sunset-june.

saturday’s sunset

the bottom line, friends, it’s time for some freaking awesome action.

have you had a change on your mind lately? has your soul been whispering to you of your dreams? this is it. this is the time to begin to act on it all. have courage. believe. trust. and leap into the great, unbelievable unknown.

we are all bursting at the seams in one way or another… it’s all of that energy that’s been building up since the winter solstice. it is ready to be released. you are ready. i am ready. today is the day that we start marching forward into making our dreams into a reality. we really can start to live our bliss. it’s time to break free from all of our fears and struggles and embrace that freedom that is calling our name. nothing is impossible. anything is possible. the life that we have been created to live is right there in front of us…

summer-solstice-sunset-sweden-2sunday’s sunset: the summer solstice!

so, accept + celebrate the journey that you are on. take some time today to reflect now where you have been since the winter’s solstice. and set your intentions for where you want to go.

by all means get outside if you can. bask in the sunlight, enjoy the long day. let that energy rush through you, preparing you for the next part of your journey.

i, personally, just went outside to take the above photo, and sat on a bench for about 10 minutes, just breathing in the air. a stranger walked by me and went into my building, greeting me with an infection, joyful “hello!” – not a super common thing, for swedes to just randomly stalk to strangers. but, with the sunset + his hello + all of this energy, i just felt as if i was overwhelmed with joy + excitement in the simplicity of the beauty of the moment.

go and celebrate this solstice, my friends, knowing that who you are + where you are, are perfectly aligned, with the universe. everything is set. we’ve been journeying to this moment since december (and since our whole lives). the light has filled us and we are bursting with anticipation. it’s time to claim the life that we want to live. to claim our own unique purpose in life.

and to shine like the sun.

a blessed solstice to you all!

onwards + upwards! xo

all of the sunset photos are taken by me this week as we journeyed toward the summer solstice today. i wanted to record the late sunsets that we enjoy here in sweden, where the sun does not set until about 11pm. the light has most definitely affected me and energized me. magic + love! woo hoo!

A Prayer to the Sun

The sun is high above us
shining down upon the land and sea,
making things grow and bloom.
Great and powerful sun,
we honor you this day
and thank you for your gifts.
Ra, Helios, Sol Invictus, Aten, Svarog,
you are known by many names.
You are the light over the crops,
the heat that warms the earth,
the hope that springs eternal,
the bringer of life.
We welcome you, and we honor you this day,
celebrating your light,
as we begin our journey once more
into the darkness.

prayer from here.