March 20th marks the beginning of Spring here in the northern hemisphere, and even though I still wore my winter parka today, my heart is starting to believe that gentler weather and green life will soon appear.I’m not a winter person, and by March I am sick of the sight of dirty snow, brown scrubby plants, feeling cold and hunched and restricted. So when Ostara and the Equinox arrive, I’m ready to burst free, to let everything that hid and percolated within me during the winter months reveal itself, and then grow and thrive.
I think of Persephone, winding her way up through the darkness, emerging into the world of light and life, and I welcome her back to us. I ask my soul to take that same journey.
I feel the Spring Equinox as a pause, an inward held breath, a time when I have the opportunity to bring myself into perfect balance, before the scales tip and the fullness of Spring arrives. It is a time when we become acutely aware of the light and the dark within ourselves, the joyful and the heart-wrenching events in our lives, when it is clear that both sides of the coin are necessary and should be honored.
Of course, this is a great time to consult the Tarot, to take that pause, to ask the cards to tap into the energy of this potent day, and to see what the universe has to say to you.
I created this Spring Equinox Tarot spread to get a clearer picture of where I may be out of balance in my own life, how to come into greater alignment, and what may emerge as a result. I hope it speaks strongly to you as well.
Coming this Spring: 8 Week Group Coaching Program
In my upcoming 8-week group coaching program, you will use this map to figure out where to focus your development. Together, we will work on skill-building to support you to thrive. After 8 weeks, you'll leave the group with some next level recovery skills and an understanding of what's next for you in your recovery.
I think of recovery as a gift that has helped me to be awake in the world. It has accelerated me on my path of living a good, thriving, decent life. Now, I am trying to bring forward tools and an approach to help other people.
I want you to reach out to me if you're thinking about joining the group. We can talk about your needs, and whether this is a fit for you.
Reach me at email@example.com or sign up: https://www.strongarm.ca/integral-recovery-toronto
Interested in learning more?
To register, please contact Nicholas, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part of my morning ritual involves some sort of meditation, whether it be seated, breath-based or movement meditation. When I am called to movement I often put on a guided 5 Rhythms soundtrack and dance out my emotions in the middle of my living room. Yesterday was such a day and I was tuned in to the poetic guidance of teacher, Gabrielle Roth. Her invitation to express with the body encourages a deep excavation of stored emotion. I have listened to her soundtrack countless times, but yesterday a particular line caught my attention. Its truth landed in me in a way that it had never landed before.
There is a language that is far more direct than words. It is the language of the body, of our skin, of our nervous system, our soma. It can convey a thousand messages within an instant, and is perceived directly and wholly by the subconscious mind. When we observe closely enough, we can read the emotions of our partner through the subtleties of how they hold themselves and breathe. But even more direct is the communication that takes place during touch. As our bodies come into contact, an intimate dialogue takes place between our skin and most notably through our hands.
Our hands are rich in neuroreceptors, second only to our lips and genitals. The amount of information that flows in and out is extraordinary. And when we touch another being, our intention and emotional state is felt immediately. Think back to times you were touched. You immediately know the difference between touch that is hesitant or confident. We feel unnourished from touch that is careless and insensitive, or violated from touch that is overbearing and needy. We feel most open and surrendered with touch that is intimately tuned into our body. This kind of touch is present, caring, confident, and engaged in ongoing dialogue with us.
What does all of this have to do with the heart? In the Taoist system of energy medicine, there is a meridian that runs directly out of the heart and down through the hands. When we rest consciously in our heart centre, the intention that we hold there becomes manifest in our actions. Our hands are our primary vehicle for converting intention into action. As we walk through the world, we use our hands to give and receive. The presence with which we go about this work ripples into our relationships, thus the more conscious our approach, the deeper connections we make.
How do we touch with consciousness and intention? More importantly, how do we clarify our intention? When we come together erotically, are we clear on what we desire and how to convey that to a partner? Taking a moment to breathe and land in one’s body will provide a starting point. Then we must explore these questions within the soma and approach our lover with open-hearted sincerity. When the container is set, staying present with our heart energy will allow every emotion and intention to flow through our hands, and radically improve the way we connect.
Monica Kovacs is a certified Somatic Sex Educator, Yoga teacher, and Reiki practitioner, currently pursuing studies in Integrative Psychotherapy. Her personal practice includes many years of study in Tantra, Taoism, and sacred sexuality.
As an Integrative Sexuality Coach, she draws on her diverse background to create a practice that weaves together sex and spirit, and incorporates a body-positive approach.
Her practice is body-based, pleasure-focused, trauma informed, and affirming of all sexual/gender identities and relationship styles.
Monica works with a wide variety of clients struggling with various concerns such as difficulties with orgasm, communicating needs, overcoming shame/anxiety, and healing from sexual trauma.
Across the city of Toronto, we prepare for International Women's Day - a time of year that sparks celebration, awareness, and strength around the world. What do you have planned this year?
To kick off the week, here is some background information about International Women's Day, this year's theme, and some tips for what to do to celebrate!
Origins of International Women’s Day
We can trace the beginnings of International Women’s Day back to labour movements in North America and Europe in the early twentieth century, with a growing force for women to take part as equals in society. The first International Women’s Day was observed on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. That day, more than one million women and men showed their support by participating in public events. In the years that followed, other countries began to observe and celebrate this day. The United Nations began celebrating IWD in 1975, later adopting March 8 as the official International Women’s Day.
Other Ways to Get Involved
Here are ten ideas from “The Status of Women Canada” for how you can celebrate International Women’s Day:
What's On in Toronto?
Here are some opportunities to get involved here in Toronto:
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