Lifestyle 02 April 2018
This is a great month to be reminded of the message that Spring brings to all of us — new beginnings.
We start the month with Mercury in retrograde in Aries. This reminds us that we need to take action towards creating closure, forgiveness, and the healing of old wounds or misunderstandings. It's also a great time to work on erasing debt and actually physically cleaning up your personal spaces. Get rid of things that you don't need. Pull up the dead plants and prepare your garden. You also must prepare your heart and your life just like a garden so the success and abundance can grow. On April 16th Mercury goes direct and is still in Aries barreling towards Uranus this month. You better be ready for your future because here it comes!
(March 21 - April 19)
“The mad scientist" … Happy Birthday Aries!
You are the first sign and get the zodiac year started. This is perfect, because you love anything new and different! This is a special spring for you with Mercury going direct in Aries on the 16th— and Uranus still hanging on in the Ram sign as well. What does this mean for you? You are the future right now. You will have glimpses of the trajectory of things. Let it simmer until April 16th, then start to write it down or talk about your ideas with trusted colleagues. Invent. Tinker. Plant things. Experiment. This is a creative time that will bear much fruit long into the future. There is more work than fun but it pays off.
April 29: Show your heart.
(April 20 - May 20)
“Peas and Carrots..."
I love that vintage Disney cartoon Ferdinand the Bull. Ferdinand is the epitome of Taurus— lazing around in a spring field of flowers. This is a perfect picture of you, except for one thing — you will have your laptop humming during this bucolic picnic. Taurus can be the laziest sign, as well as the hardest working sign, in the zodiac. This month, you — along with Capricorn — will be the latter version; cranking out the reports, art, spreadsheets, projects, or whatever you consider to be your work. Don't burn out or be too serious. Take breaks and stop to smell those roses.
April 25-26 : Spring clean and organize.
May 21- June 20
The first half of April you will probably be feeling the showers more than the flowers of spring. There are a lot of heavy influences right now, and your ruling planet Mercury is in retrograde in Aries until the 15th. You may feel down or depressed this month— which is very foreign territory to Geminis. This too shall pass. Exercise, creativity and meditation could be helpful for you. However, not thinking before you speak will not be helpful to you during this time. Your verbal governor is out of order until the 15th. Also, wear a helmet. I'm not joking. Mercury retrograde in Aries can make you more prone to head injuries!
April 27-28: Date night.
June 21- July 22
“I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray." - Prince
Ok so things are tough right now. You have Aries and Saturn squares all over your chart. Mercury is in retrograde in Aries and Mars is conjunct Saturn in Capricorn. Let's just stop counting the strikes against you, shall we? Whenever someone is swimming in this many challenging aspects, I always have them ask “WWPD?" (What Would Prince Do?).
Party like it's 1999 of course! Especially with Neptune in Pisces and Venus in Taurus. These lovelies are handing our Cancer friends love, fun and illusion on a silver platter. You're welcome.
April 12-13: Make your first batch of cotton candy at home…or anything else pink and lovely that you fancy.
July 23- August 22
Your love-life may be a little contentious this month. You may feel like you keep hitting stubborn brick walls with your partner. Work may seem sluggish. You have many plans for expansion but they are stalled because of loads of boring but necessary tasks. It's time to focus on what's flowing in your life. Ideas. Visions. Inventions. Dreamy vistas of future life paths are laying out before you. Watch, listen and be dazzled. After April 15th, you should write it all down, make a vision board or make a speech about it.
April 23-24: Dress up and make your entrance.
August 23- September 22
“I'm not sure which is worse, intense feeling or the absence of it." - Margaret Atwood
This month is very productive, intense and focused for you. Until April 15th, you feel as if you are bailing water out of your boat but it keeps filling up. After mid-month, you begin to see more traction. While most signs are reeling from the Saturn-Mars conjunction, you are riding this bull like a pro. You are exhausted and drained from the challenge…but isn't it amazing how well you are handling this ride? I'm betting on you this month for the win. Also, look up at least a couple of times to notice all of the people that are smitten with you and want to take you out.
April 10-11: Buy a magic set.
September 23- October 22.
“Don't fall through the ice!"
Libras have a reputation for being “shallow". This is true for some Librans, but for most— it is less about being shallow, and more about their propensity for staying in their heads and out of their emotions regarding stressful situations. Sometimes for the water signs or earth signs, it is hard to connect with our Libra friends because of this trait. The emotional and physical signs experience the world so differently. This month, a Libra's ability to not be dragged down into the mire of negative stress and emotion is a beautiful gift. Keep tap dancing on the surface dear Librans, the storm will pass.
April 19-20: Speak another language.
(October 23- November 21)
“The farmer has to be an optimist or he wouldn't be a farmer." - Will Rogers
You are still in serious work mode this month— and this spring it is even more intense.
Just like the farmer in April, you are breaking your back — preparing the soil, getting rid of the dead plants from last season and planting seeds. When you look up after all of this hard work what do you see? A big patch of lifeless mud. No worries. I guarantee this will be one of your best crops ever. Your money, career, assets, lifestyle and anything else that you desire is going to grow like crazy. Just be patient…and fertilize.
April 21-22: be good to your spouse.
November 22- December 21
“People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point." - George Carlin
Just like many of the other signs, there will be April showers for you this month, my dear Sagittarius. But never fear— things get brighter when Mercury in Aries leaves retrograde around the 15th. When you get your gift of gab back during the second half of the month, I suggest that you join the Cancers (see above) at their end of the world party and live it up! You could be the comedic entertainment. It's worth a try- I promise the food and drink will be spectacular …it's a Cancer's home.
April 19-20: dance by yourself.
(December 22- January 19)
“If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm." - Frank Lane
This is a particularly yucky Mercury in retrograde for you. Please wear a helmet, slow down, wear your seatbelt, don't lose your temper, etc. After April 15th, things get so much better — and not just because more than 50% of all Capricorns are accountants and tax season is finally over. The bigger reason is that so many huge transits are in your sign right now. It's extremely intense and wreaking havoc on so many. Not you, my sweet Capricorn. Climbing steadily in harsh conditions is your natural habitat. I said earlier that I'm betting on Virgo to win— but you have a great shot at the podium as well. Isn't it fun when the nerds get to be the cool kids for a little while?
April 25-26: win at your spin class without even trying.
(January 20- February 18)
“The happy sidekick."
I'm still telling you to lean into your humor this month my Aquarius friends. Just like Libra (see above) your strength during this intense transit time is your ability to skim the surface of emotions and not be plowed under by the negativity of others. Look for those Capricorn or Virgo colleagues and ask if they need help — or ask them to help you. Let others lead, and try to laugh a lot. After April 15th you will be able to command attention again.
April 27-28: paint your toes a crazy color. Oh wait- they already are a crazy color…you're an Aquarius.
(February 19- March 20)
“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work." - John Lubbock
Work and life are really good, it's just stressful! You internalize everything and make it emotional. Please “clean" your energy this month. Take salt baths. Make sure your get the workouts in. It's a lot to deal with right now, but none of it is bad for you. After April 15th, you will feel a big lift. The middle of the month will be great for your relationship and attraction. Take advice from those that you trust— you aren't seeing everything so clearly right now. Slow down and stop worrying.
April 2-4: good love.
New parents re-entering the workforce are often juggling the tangible realities of daycare logistics, sleep deprivation, and a cascade of overwhelming work. No matter how parents build their family, they often struggle with the guilt of being split between home and work and not feeling exceptionally successful in either place.
Women building their families often face a set of challenges different from men. Those who have had children biologically may be navigating the world of pumping at work. Others might feel pulled in multiple directions when bringing a child into their home after adoption. Some women are trying to learn how to care for a newborn for the first time. New parents need all the help they can get with their transition.
Women returning to work after kids sometimes have to address comments such as:
"I didn't think you'd come back."
"You must feel so guilty."
"You missed a lot while you were out."
To counteract this difficult situation, women are finding mentors and making targeting connections. Parent mentors can help new moms address integrating their new life realities with work, finding resources within the organization and local community, and create connections with peers.
There's also an important role for parent mentors to play in discussing career trajectory. Traditionally, men who have families see more promotions compared to women with children. Knowing that having kids may represent a career setback for women, they may work with their mentors to create an action plan to "back on track" or to get recognized for their contributions as quickly as possible after returning to work.
Previously, in a bid to accommodate mothers transitioning back to work, corporate managers would make a show at lessoning the workload for newly returned mothers. This approach actually did more harm than good, as the mother's skills and ambitions were marginalized by these alleged "family friendly" policies, ultimately defining her for the workplace as a mother, rather than a person focused on career.
Today, this is changing. Some larger organizations, such as JP Morgan Chase, have structured mentorship programs that specifically target these issues and provide mentors for new parents. These programs match new parents navigating a transition back to work with volunteer mentors who are interested in helping and sponsoring moms. Mentors in the programs do not need to be moms, or even parents, themselves, but are passionate about making sure the opportunities are available.
It's just one other valuable way corporations are evolving when it comes to building quality relationships with their employees – and successfully retaining them, empowering women who face their own set of special barriers to career growth and leadership success.
Mentoring will always be a two way street. In ideal situations, both parties will benefit from the relationship. It's no different when women mentor working mothers getting back on track on the job. But there a few factors to consider when embracing this new form of mentorship
How to be a good Momtor?
Listen: For those mentoring a new parent, one of the best strategies to take is active listening. Be present and aware while the mentee shares their thoughts, repeat back what you hear in your own words, and acknowledge emotions. The returning mother is facing a range of emotions and potentially complicated situations, and the last thing she wants to hear is advice about how she should be feeling about the transition. Instead, be a sounding board for her feelings and issues with returning to work. Validate her concerns and provide a space where she can express herself without fear of retribution or bull-pen politics. This will allow the mentee a safe space to sort through her feelings and focus on her real challenges as a mother returning to work.
Share: Assure the mentee that they aren't alone, that other parents just like them are navigating the transition back to work. Provide a list of ways you've coped with the transition yourself, as well as your best parenting tips. Don't be afraid to discuss mothering skills as well as career skills. Work on creative solutions to the particular issues your mentee is facing in striking her new work/life balance.
Update Work Goals: A career-minded woman often faces a new reality once a new child enters the picture. Previous career goals may appear out of reach now that she has family responsibilities at home. Each mentee is affected by this differently, but good momtors help parents update her work goals and strategies for realizing them, explaining, where applicable, where the company is in a position to help them with their dreams either through continuing education support or specific training initiatives.
Being a role model for a working mother provides a support system, at work, that they can rely on just like the one they rely on at home with family and friends. Knowing they have someone in the office, who has knowledge about both being a mom and a career woman, will go a long way towards helping them make the transition successfully themselves.