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Personalized Astrological Insights for Leaders

Self-Awareness Beyond Personality Analyses & Strengths Assessments

Pragmatic Insights for Effective Leadership

The Importance of Understanding Your Instinctive Self

All too often, we avoid engaging with those things that trigger our unwanted thoughts and painful emotions (such as fear, shame, etc.). And we don’t often appreciate how many of our problems are a result of us avoiding our difficult thoughts and painful emotions (and avoiding the people/situations that produce these difficult thoughts and emotions). In short, our difficult thoughts and emotions are determining so much of our lives precisely because we avoid them.

Balrāj’s astrological insights are not predictions about whether you’ll one day have/do/be whatever you desire/fear. Balrāj’s astrological insights are about your instinctive self. The objective is to make some of your implicit habits (relevant to your presenting problem) more explicit so you can take the few actions that will produce the most results. Less trapped by your own habits of avoidance (which are likely sabotaging your efforts to experience progress and competence in some area of your life), you will be better able to open yourself up to opportunities, resources, and deeper connection. 

But your instinctive self is not just a repository of destructive and self-sabotaging habits. It is also the source of intrinsic motivations, values and strengths, but also needs and standards. Unacknowledged needs and impossible standards motivate us to fill up our sense of “inner lack” with something in the world, and so “inner lack” will likely be inscribed in what whatever we manage to accomplish. Our intrinsic motivations and strengths give us to meaningful results based on a compelling vision for realizing oneself in the world—a vision aligned with our deepest values/inspiration/strengths and more dedicated to contribution and impact rather than self-aggrandizement. This type of vision filters and focuses our attention and calls us beyond our personal compulsions, anxieties and rumination (i.e., beyond our self-obsession) towards more connection, more authenticity, and more freedom. Your vision need not be perfect; it just needs to guide and encourage you in your right direction—and each step in that direction will reveal new horizons. But this type of vision is generally inaccessible to one who is panic mode, who is more focused on putting out fires that have little/no relevance to their vision (and to who they want to become). In this way, there is a sense that you actually working with your “self” rather than against it by trying to fix/change it via inner work and/or personal transformation. Of course, this is not very compelling to the person who believes their fulfillment will be the direct result of eliminating perceived personal inadequacies, that fulfillment is unavailable to their current [flawed] self.

 

Expecting astrology to heal your life might be re-producing the problem of avoidance. But deepening your self-connection allows you to filter and focus your attention and energy on the things that make your life path most meaningful, without the fear and insecurity. In this way, you (and your attention and energy) are not consumed by a need for those things that you think will make you feel complete. Instead, you begin to recognize how abandoning the pursuit of self-existence might lead to a more creative, connected, and meaningful life.

Balrāj’s approach is pragmatic and phenomenological, not metaphysical. This means that you do not need to know any astrology jargon and/or do not need to have any particular metaphysical/cosmological or religious/spiritual beliefs. Balrāj will be talking to you about your own experience, and everything he says can be examined and verified by paying attention precisely to your own experience. He uses your astrological chart to identify the specific areas of one’s inner/outer life/world that one naturally prefers to avoid and towards which one would benefit from opening up, the the instinctive self’s habits—the “old maps”—that prevent full engagement in/with the one’s world, and the most effective method(s) of re-habituation.​ And being less bound by our instinctive drive to self-protection, we are freer to make better decisions, build stronger relationships, and experience growth.

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And we don’t often appreciate how many of our problems are a result of us avoiding our difficult thoughts and painful emotions (and avoiding the people/situations that produce these difficult thoughts and emotions). In short, our difficult thoughts and emotions are determining so much of our lives precisely because we avoid them.

How to Build Stronger Relationships

Your Instinctive Self in Relationships

Improving the quality of your most intimate relationships might be the most difficult thing that you ever do. Why? Because improving the quality of your relationships requires that you open up to experiencing some of the most challenging aspects of yourself (and that you relate to a partner who may not ready/willing to be vulnerable when you are).

 

Your most intimate relationships are subject to the anxieties and compulsions of your instinctive self. In fact, your instinctive self affects your capacity for connection in all of your relationships (not just so-called “love” relationships). 

 

You may very well recognize your past relationship mistakes and try to actively and consciously avoid them. Similarly, you may very well recognize the importance of (and try to create/strengthen) such aspects as commitment, communication, trust, emotional intelligence, paying attention to each other, eye contact, etc.. However, trying to actively make yourself do any of these things is rarely successful. Our instinctive self is often much too strong—it arrives on the scene before we get there, so to speak, especially in times of relationship conflict—and we’re left regretting our actions again. We might even blame the other person (or look for more relationship advice) instead of develop self awareness and finally look at our own (habitual) selves and self-sabotaging behaviours in relationships.

The importance of self-awareness in relationships is profound. In times of relationship conflict, if the instinctive self arrives before our conscious self (as it usually does), the constructiveness of our conversation (and the life of our relationship) is determined by our automatic thoughts, feelings, and behaviours (e.g., compulsions, anxieties, triggers, desires, etc.).

But change doesn’t require magic. It requires awareness of our situation and of our instinctive, habitual, “pre-reflective” self. Our habitual self will continue to run our lives—for better or for worse—unless we become more aware of it. Becoming aware of it doesn’t mean destroying it, but rather being open to it and being able to sit with it without running to a destructive habit (to avoid the discomfort of looking at aspects of ourselves we’d rather repress). The more we become aware of our habitual self, the less we remain imprisoned by it, and the more we are able to follow our inspirations (the things we “love” or about which we are abundantly curious) without the fear, doubt, insecurity, and self-sabotaging behavior.

 

A birth chart compatibility and synastry reading should tell you if this habitual, instinctive self is “compatible” (however this is defined).

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The importance of self-awareness in relationships is profound. In times of relationship conflict, if the instinctive self arrives before our conscious self (as it usually does), the constructiveness of our conversation (and the life of our relationship) is determined by our automatic thoughts, feelings, and behaviours (e.g., compulsions, anxieties, triggers, desires, etc.).

The Importance of “Self-Regulation”

“Suffering” in Yoga Philosophy

Our search for permanent peace is meant to remedy the basic problem of a gnawing sense of ‘incompleteness’, or emptiness/lack, et cetera. The basic sense of incompleteness produces a basic fear of being/becoming nothing and/or a sense of emptiness that weighs on the individual (“I’m not enough” or “there’s something missing/bad/shameful in me [that must be expelled]”).

In secular contexts, this search for permanent peace manifests in a number of quests, including (but not limited to) unassailable psychological health, romantic love, financial freedom, status/power, etc. The problem of suffering is produced and re-produced by this basic yearning for an unconditional sense of security that would relieve one of their suffering/anxiety. The independent sense of self is seeking a more “weighty” individual existence—more substance, more real-ness—to eliminate, once and for all, it’s unrelenting sense of vulnerability/incompleteness.

 

In this quest for permanent relief, the self inherits and develop habits to avoid whatever produces feelings of vulnerability—painful emotions, unwanted thoughts, and the people/situations that produce these emotions/thoughts. These habits are rooted in self-interested motivations that operate beneath the level of our reflective awareness. These self-interested motivations affect what we perceive, think, feel, and how we act—whether we like it or not, thus closing off domains of possible experience. In other words, this basic yearning is the origin of habits that prevent full engagement in/with life.

 

Moderating this basic yearning and its attendant habits is essentially a process of re-habituation, un-doing, forgetting. Processes of re-habituation require awareness and courage—a willingness to actively turn toward one’s own lived experience and be open to noticing something new (without any commitments to what said noticing might/will look/feel/be like). It requires openness—an openness as close to ‘unconditional’ as possible.

 

But this task is not purely an intellectual one; studying the depths of your inner life/world alone is insufficient to live freely. Complete engagement in/with life requires confronting the anxious uncertainty of opening the heart, opening to those situations in one’s life/world that one is inclined to avoid. For this reason, classical eastern spiritual traditions provided practices for this primary re-habituation, practices that are centred on being able to sit with our troubling thoughts and emotions rather than compulsively trying to avoid them—and trying to remain in control of (and in possession of) our situation.

 

As we learn to sit with our disturbing thoughts and emotions, we become less compelled by them, less attached to them, and more free to creatively explore what had hitherto been concealed by them.

As we learn to sit with our disturbing thoughts and emotions, our future is less bound to/by our past.

 

And as we learn to sit with our disturbing thoughts and emotions, we can see our whole self.

 

Balrāj’s approach to astrology is less about mining the astrology chart for already-established facts about one’s future, and is more about opening up to the creative engagement with the (meaningful) freedom that is revealed in and by the recognition of oneself.

Personalized astrological insights are provided as part of both our private wellness and effectiveness coaching for business leaders and our Leadership Development Intensive.

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