Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Counterintuitive Advice

Rob Breszny, one of my favorite astrologers, says:

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): "Keep exploring what it takes to be the opposite of who you are," suggests psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of the book *Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.* This advice is one of his ideas about how to get into attunement with the Tao, also known as being in the zone or getting in the groove or being aligned with the great cosmic flow. How would you go about being the opposite of who you are, Aquarius? According to my reading of the omens, that will be an excellent question for you to muse about in the coming weeks. As you stretch yourself to embody the secret and previously unknown parts of you, I think you'll be pleased with how much more thoroughly that allows you to be in sync with the rhythms of life.

I'm tickled by his advice this week, trying to imagine the opposite of me. I should wear a business suit, balance my checkbook, avoid reading and watch a lot more television. Or I could eat junk food, stop cleaning my room, smoke cigarettes, engage in some ruthless and hurtful gossip. Definitely I should stop writing, taking photographs and drawing, blow off my morning meditation, rent a car so as to avoid walking, maybe go on a diet. More than anything, in order to be the opposite of me, I must stop thinking.

Oh. Maybe it would be a good thing to stop thinking for awhile. And I could balance my checkbook, couldn't I? I'm not saying those things wouldn't allow me to be more in sync with the rhythms of life, would they?

Come to think of it, I could bat my eyelashes at attractive men, couldn't I? I could make another stab at shopping for clothing. I could stay up too late having fun with people I love, stop talking to the dead and start hanging out more with the living. Couldn't I? OK Rob I'm getting the idea. Thanks, friend. I'll give it a try. Why not?


Butternut Squash said...

The photo is fantastic. I think you should frame that one.

I kind of like you the way you are so don't go changing the good stuff. But, if you want to try on false eyelashes and glitter glue, I'm all for it. Peace.

sciencegirl said...

Truly an interesting idea. We should all try it once in a while.
Love the photo of the hangers!

steven said...

hi reya, "objects in the mirror are closer than they appear." so is everything we describe ourselves by.
looking at the clothes, people, ideas, habits, and choices you're wearing by swimming upstream against the flow of yourself is a good way to see what stays on and what gets pushed off by the current. then when you're tired of all that swimming, turn around and go with the flow. have a peaceful day. steven

Dani said...

exploring the other you... can be fun for a while to pretend and do something different. but after so much time you're betraying the "real you".

have fun and explore!

Cynthia said...

Batting eyelashes and balancing check books? What's next, these days of opposites? Photos are incredible! <3

Steve said...

That's an intriguing idea -- becoming your own opposite. I'm not sure I'd like my opposite much, though!

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve, that's what I thought initially. I've worked so hard to be who I am. But then I started thinking about ways I block myself (everybody has them) and how to open up to those "hidden facets" of me.

We'll see how far I get with it.

You can't tell in the pic, but there are black suit pants hanging from the hangers. They kind of disappear in the pic.

Both pics are blurry and buzzy - which is how Rob made me feel with his forecast!

Anonymous said...

Great post Reya! Made me think of how the opposite of me wouldn't be too much fun! :)

The Bug said...

The opposite of me would be more introspective & kind. And also a little more industrious - which would be good considering all the unpacked boxes in our new house!

ellen abbott said...

Well, shoot. I just now figured out who I am. Now I have to figure out who I'm not? Your list works for me, except the house cleaning part. I'd have to start.

Mrsupole said...

I love the pictures, they are fantastic and if you want to experiment, you go girl. That is what life is about, trying new things, if you try something new and it is not for you than you will move on or go back as the case may be. But whatever you do make sure you are having fun doing it. That is what really matters, enjoy yourself, enjoy life. Just enjoy.

You will always know who you are and if change is what you need than change is what you do. We should always be evolving into something that hopefully is a newer and happier you. That is why we learn. Your spirit guides will keep you safe. Go forth and experience life.

God bless.

Deborah said...

man, i hadn't thought of any of those things for me . . .

still contemplating the opposite of Deborah

nice clothing is part of this
and now that my hair is short and
i look like Bea Arthur
that may be a part

maybe too superficial

love you

Lynne said...

What a fab photo! Until I read your comment I didn't see the black pants on the hangers. I was too busy noticing how the hangers acted as roofs for the reflected houses! Was that a happy coincidence?

karen said...

Great photo, and interesting thinking about that "opposite-reya"!

Nancy said...

Hmmm my daughter is Aquarius.

I can't imagine you being anyone but who you are, but this is an interesting concept.

Elizabeth said...

Yes, the second photo is a sort of metaphor maybe for trying on different clothes?
It is amazing.

Should we try to be what we are not?
We could THINK about it. That might be helpful, but, in my dotage, I've sort of decided to settle into being MORE of me.
What fun it would be to be brave and organized
and slim.........
not sure about some of the other stuff.

But worth pondering, as so many ideas are.

I think Mo, in my post today, is a sort of Vince.

Bee said...

I always admire your photographs, but rarely comment on them because you always leave so much food for thought in your commentary.

These seem particularly clever and interesting, though -- and coordinate so well with your message. What you are seems so much better than what you are not . . . but perhaps you have concluded to go with what has gone dormant recently?

Barbara Martin said...

By challenging yourself with new things, Reya, you and your soul will grow as it's supposed to.

Love the photo with the hangars. I never noticed the pants until you mentioned them.

Liza Ursu said...

Please forgive me for this long comment, but your post made me think of "The Opposite" episode of Seinfeld. I don't do much TV either, but I still love Seinfeld......
* Enter George
Jerry : Speaking of having it all ... Where were you?
George : I went to the beach. ( J and E exchange looks )
Jerry : Oh, the beach.
George : It's not working, Jerry. It's just not working.
Jerry : What is it that isn't working?
George : Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but ... I was perceptive. I always know when someone's uncomfortable at a party. It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I've ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every of life, be it something to wear, something to eat ... It's all been wrong.
( A waitress comes up to G )
Waitress : Tuna on toast, coleslaw, cup of coffee.
George : Yeah. No, no, no, wait a minute, I always have tuna on toast. Nothing's ever worked out for me with tuna on toast. I want the complete opposite of on toast. Chicken salad, on rye, untoasted ... and a cup of tea.
Elaine : Well, there's no telling what can happen from this.
Jerry : You know chicken salad is not the opposite of tuna, salmon is the opposite of tuna, 'cos salmon swim against the current, and the tuna swim with it.
George : Good for the tuna.
( A blonde looks at George )
Elaine : Ah, George, you know, that woman just looked at you.
George : So what? What am I supposed to do?
Elaine : Go talk to her.
George : Elaine, bald men, with no jobs, and no money, who live with their parents, don't approach strange women.
Jerry : Well here's your chance to try the opposite. Instead of tuna salad and being intimidated by women, chicken salad and going right up to them.
George : Yeah, I should do the opposite, I should.
Jerry : If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.
George : Yes, I will do the opposite. I used to sit here and do nothing, and regret it for the rest of the day, so now I will do the opposite, and I will do
( He goes over to the woman )
George : Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice that you were looking in my direction.
Victoria : Oh, yes I was, you just ordered the same exact lunch as me.
( G takes a deep breath )
George : My name is George. I'm unemployed and I live with my parents.
Victoria : I'm Victoria. Hi.

Enjoy your day!

Jeninacide said...

I read Free Will Astrology religiously! (Also an Aquarius).

I'm still trying to absorb this week's advice. I guess I could start being the opposite of myself by putting my son down for scheduled naps and bedtimes or something. Or maybe I could start organizing closets and drawers.

If I weren't so sick right now I would totally attempt it!

If you wouldn't mind checking out my blog post from a couple of days ago I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts on my latest "ghost" experience.


Jopan said...

if only i were brave enough. Alas i am a coward and i like to be comfortable. You should never change yourself to please others (unless you really want to) oh but if you dont try knew things you'll never know if you like to do them...oh i'm confused now. Just go with the flow, thats what i do. do what you feel like doing. I'll shut up now. my brow is getting all wrinkled.

Reya Mellicker said...

What great comments!

Liza I'm pretty sure I've never seen Seinfeld, though of course I know it was the funny show about "nothing." It's so endemic to our culture I felt before now that there was no reason to watch it. However, in the coming weeks, trying on opposites, I might sit down and watch it. Why not?

Elizabeth I'm more like you - that as I've aged I've figured why struggle with myself? Why not just be who I am?

But I am intrigued with experimenting, trying different, "opposite" things.

On the way home from the Sufi acupuncturist, on the Metro train, a handsome man of about my age was sitting across the aisle. I smiled at him (not seductively - don't think I can do that anymore) and amazingly he started chatting with me in the friendliest way possible. I was flabbergasted, frankly.

Blonder than You would be so proud of me. So I'm kind of into Rob's idea.

Jenacide, I'll go check your post. Sorry you're sick!!

Reya Mellicker said...

OH and thanks for the compliments on the pic - it's the Ann Taylor window on Dupont circle. It's curved which is why the buildings across Connecticut Avenue look so narrow. Yes I chose it purposely because the suit pants were so businesslike, and because I really avoid shopping for clothes like the plague.

willow said...

Some of my opposites would be good things, but for the most part, I like my regular self. I like what Steven said about going with the flow. It usually takes us where we're supposed to be. Just keep your head above the water and enjoy the ride!

Margaret Gosden said...

That is a weird and wonderful photo of the hangers!

Meri said...

And you could just hang around a while longer and see what happens. Batting your eyelashes and flirting wildly sounds like fun.

Dan Gurney said...

Here, from Rob's site, is a quote from Carl Jung:

"The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others."

Perhaps this counter-intuitive advice could help us withdraw the projection of our shadow on ourselves.

Rebecca Clayton said...

Wow--I was so intrigued and perplexed by "the opposite of Reya" that I checked my own Free Will Astrology advice. It says I'm becoming a lucky charm, able to heal the ones I love and clean up karma. So consider yourself zapped by healing vibes from Droop Mountain!

I was thinking about Vince--don't you suppose fallen soldiers all feel like they're on the losing side? They must know better than anyone that war's a no-win situation. Guess I'd better aim healing vibes at Droop Mountain's many ghosts.

Natalie said...

Whatever form Reya takes this week...I am a huge fanxx♥

Reya Mellicker said...

Rebecca, thank you! For the healing vibes and also for your thoughts about fallen soldiers. Yes. Wow. Thanks.