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Thoughts on Approaching the Cancer Solstice 

click to enlarge Two crabs connecting - PHOTO BY AMANDA PAINTER
  • photo by Amanda Painter
  • Two crabs connecting

Recent events have lots of people wanting to retreat into a metaphorical shell of some kind; to protect the tender parts of ourselves with some form of armor, or to turn the hard parts of ourselves toward the world.

Yet what the world needs most is for us to stay present in our sensitivity and our vulnerability. I don’t mean we should offer ourselves to be taken advantage of. Rather, I mean staying in touch with the places within that feel deeply, while still engaging with the world fully, may actually be the strongest way to stay whole.

The world needs our wholeness right now. Even if you feel broken, lost or ‘not quite ready yet’, those feelings are part of the sum of who you are -- along with whatever else they might be masking. Your awareness of yourself in whatever form you currently take and your ability to express that awareness are incredibly valuable.

It’s easy to think that only the ‘heroes’ of our world are looked to as shining examples of strength, bravery, problem solving or worth. But if you’ve ever witnessed someone speaking their truth, even if it meant standing in their pain to say, ‘Here I am, in all my imperfection and unknowingness,’ you know how inspiring and empowering that can be to others.

So please, do not retreat into your shell like a crab and hide under a seaweed-covered rock. Yes, the Sun arrives in Cancer for the solstice in less than a week on June 20, and you might be feeling that urge. But Cancer is also a cardinal sign: a sign of initiative, leadership and taking action in the world.

The first step for action to occur is showing up for yourself, with all of yourself: your dreams, desires and goals, along with the fears, doubts and obstacles that go with them; the places that have been hurt and compromised, and the places that feel beautiful and strong. Who cares if you need to come at things a little sideways sometimes? All that matters is that you are out there, moving, bringing your sensitivity into contact with others.

Together we grieve, and together we are stronger. As we care for others, we show them how to care for us in turn. And when we molt -- allowing the softness of a fresh, tender self to meet the world -- we are in the moment of greatest potential for growth.

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