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By Barbara McDowall

According to one astrologer, Dale Osadchuk, we are now experiencing a Libra New Moon which began October 11 and will be with us through to November 8.  A Libra New Moon is about relationships in life, both personal and impersonal. The road ahead may be very rocky unless we have found self-acceptance.  Our differences become our strengths.  We are able to recognize self in the other but don’t lose self in order to be in relationship.  Most of us are in the process of learning that lesson when it comes to relating.

Relationships are the glue holding us together as a society.  Without them we wouldn’t be able to learn and grow and evolve into something bigger and better.  They can also be our most challenging places of growth.  They can challenge us to consciously 'be' who we 'say' we are ~ to walk our talk.

A Course in Miracles refers to relationships as God's laboratory.  It is here we can put into practice all that we have learned whether through experience or through reading and education. 

It can be relatively easy to 'do' relationship through the passive taking in of information.  However, the testing ground will be applying it to the way we relate to those around us.  As always, we must first apply what we have learned to the self before we can successfully relate to someone else.

Awareness and communication are essential keys to a successful relationship.  To be aware of who we are and to take responsibility for who we are in relationship is important.  Without clear awareness and intent, success is limited at best.  Practicing effective communication with the desire to be clear, heard, and understood without blaming and shaming is also necessary along with a good conflict resolution plan.

How often we think we must surrender who we are in an intimate relationship.  We collapse ourselves into this new relationship and lose ourselves in the process.  If we are clear about who how we relate to ourselves, we can then be clear when relating to others.

I treasure the relationships in my life and recently, I have found some of my relationships challenging me from time to time.  I have had to ask myself who am I and what is important to me.  What right action do I need to take to bring this relationship back into alignment? 

I have benefited from a variety of tools such as reflective walks, free writing and meditation.  Each one of these tools has allowed me to access my inner guide, my inner wisdom to come up with the answers.  They have provided me with new perspectives.

I know my life is filled with a variety of relationships some good and some not so good.  It is up to me to be conscious and clear about who I am within myself, what my values are and to then apply those values to myself and those around me.  These relationship challenges keep me on my toes, to keep me awake and congruent with my values and who I say I am.

I remain thankful for all the relationships I am a part of.  For each and every relationship has contributed in no small measure to the person I have become.  I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on some of the challenges they present to me and for the creativity they spark.  It is then I am able to see the options I have for maintaining those relationships in a more conscious and authentic way.  Each challenge is an opportunity for me to take a new look at the relationship I have with myself and to be more mindful of the responsibility I have in relating to others and my community in a positive and productive way.

I recently celebrate my 60th with a surprise birthday party and was so blessed to have some of those relationships represented in the room.  I could look out and see people from so many different places in my life.  And I was able to tell each one of them how important they were to me and how much I loved them.  It was a dream come true.

Relationships are like gardens and thrive with the kind and compassionate attention a gardener provides.  My intention is to be a gardener to my relationships because I love each and every one of them no matter how challenging they can be. 

Authentic Living