If you know us well, you’ll know that we’re both wannabe amateur astrologers. We spend a lot of time reading books, listening to podcasts, and researching our own astrological charts as a way to understand both ourselves and the world better. We think it’s a helpful tool in that way. It provides another lens to look through. Additional context, a different perspective.
I (Victoria) took a workshop by one of my favorite astrologers, Colin Bedell (@queercosmos on Instagram). He spits a lot of wisdom in the most amazing New York accent. The workshop was centered around the recent lunar eclipse, and one of the key themes was how to find security and safety within uncertainty and the unknown. I don’t know about you, but to me that topic feels especially important right now. It seems like everything in the world has been turned upside down. In a recent interview, the actor Timothee Chalamet was quoted as saying “It’s hard to be alive right now. I think societal collapse is in the air, it smells like it” and I really felt that. Not in a negative way or in an overly alarming way per se, but in a very transformational way. In a way that makes everything really wobbly right now.
The antidote, as Colin explained using a concept borrowed from Brene Brown’s work, is to find security and safety by leaning hard into your values. Really live them, embody them. Because safety and security start within yourself. If you don’t feel safe in your own body, in your own decisions, in your own brain, then you’ll never really feel safe at all. We can’t control most things, but we can control our own actions. And if our actions align with our values, that rootedness creates stability. The external world may be shifting but our internal world is solid, providing security.
And in order to live in your values, you need to be clear on what they are. I consider myself to have strong values, but admittedly have never taken the time to define them. Colin argued that you should pick two to focus on. If you have too many priorities, you don’t really have any priorities at all. And they should have some polarity to them. They should balance each other out in a way (e.g. discipline and pleasure, accountability and mercy). He put a slide up with dozens of values listed on it. Two resonated with me immediately - one of them was expected and one of them surprised me. Honesty and Grace.
Honesty makes sense. It’s been a central theme of my life in the past few years as I’ve worked to be more honest with myself and, in turn, more honest with others. It’s the basis of integrity, a word I often use less in the context of morality and more in the spirit of its etymology and original definition - to be whole. It speaks to an alignment of mind, body and soul. Having your inside world match your outside world. To acknowledge all of your thoughts and emotions - as opposed to suppressing them - and then to act on them accordingly. That is honesty at the deepest level. Something I’ve been trying to cultivate lately.
Grace surprised me. On the surface it seems kind of fluffy, not a lot of substance. But when I sat with it, I realized that’s not the case at all. There’s an ease to it, a softness. It evokes compassion and empathy. It’s about being caring, kind and genuine. Depending on your personal beliefs, there’s an essence of divinity to it - walking with the grace of God, Spirit, Mother Earth - take your pick. It serves as a good counterpoint to honesty, which can sometimes be harsh and abrasive. Grace smoothes out the edges. The more I sat with it, the more I liked it.
I shared these two values with Nicole and we both thought they would be good guideposts for Conscia in the new year. It will be the framework we use when we’re faced with a decision or when we’re contemplating the best approach to something. For example, one of our goals in 2023 is to incorporate ourselves, our personalities, more into the brand. We realized that we’ve been hiding behind it in a way. We’re challenging ourselves to break out of our shells and take up more space, to be more visible and active on the Conscia social media channels. But neither of us are big social media people and we weren’t sure how to do it in a way that felt aligned with our personalities. We don’t want it to feel like we’re just feeding an algorithm. We thought - if we do it with honesty (authenticity, integrity, in a way that feels true to us) and with grace (softness, kindness, compassion) then it won’t feel phony. It will be true. And that feels like the right way for us to do it. So you’ll be seeing more of our faces in the coming year - leading with honesty and grace.
We hope that this inspires you to reflect on your personal values and on how you can integrate them into your life. We’re so grateful to have you in our community - happy new year!
With love and optimism,
Nicole and Victoria