Rav Berg once mused at how “a Virgo’s view of the world may be reduced to a grain of sand when the entire beach should be taken into account.” Every year as we enter the month of Elul, I can almost hear him saying that. And, as a true-blue Virgo, I can attest to the truth of that statement!
Each month in the Lunar calendar brings a unique energy we can all tap into, no matter what our sun sign. The energy of Virgo lends itself to details. Focus. Precision. Like most traits, this ability can be both a strength and a challenge. It all depends on how we direct our energies this month!
On the plus side, Virgo’s eagle eye for detail makes them a supremely perceptive and organized sign. They can become excellent surgeons, editors, and leaders. They are able to zero in on a problem or situation that others may overlook and quickly see what needs to change. This is a great month to see what needs to be done and make it happen! That Virgo energy will help you mend, revamp, and align your life in new ways.
On the other hand, that highly observant Virgo nature can hedge into controlling or critical tendencies, which can lead to bruised egos or hurt feelings in others. Virgos aren’t always the most empathetic on the outside, but they are often very kind-hearted when it matters most. And, while their perfectionism can come off like a fortress of confidence, the target of their most critical eye is often set squarely on themselves.
Just remember, Virgos have a slight tendency to fixate on the details. So if you find yourself down that particular rabbit hole, keep in mind the fact that there’s a whole world out there! Have you heard the old adage ‘couldn’t see the forest for the trees’? Well, some people are forest people (big picture), some people are detail oriented (tree people), and Virgos are more like leaf people. Seeing the proverbial leaves on the tree is a gift that most people can’t access! Just remember to zoom out and see the forest from time to time.
One exercise I often use to help with this is called the 10-10-10 approach, developed by author Suzy Welch.
It works like this: When faced with a decision or challenge, ask yourself these three questions:
What will the consequences of this decision be in 10 minutes? How about in 10 months? And, finally, in 10 years?
Voilà! Instant perspective. This exercise takes your grain-of-sand focus and widens it so that you can perceive not only this beach, but the next one over, too.
The practice has helped the author through major decisions (such as a divorce) and minor dilemmas as well. An example she shared in O Magazine involved a request to lead a Saturday meeting for her company’s executives. Unfortunately, the meeting would conflict with her son’s hard-earned junior black belt test in karate.
By applying the 10-10-10 technique, she knew that, in 10 minutes, either her boss or her son would be disappointed. In her son’s case, tears were highly likely. In 10 months, she thought, the disappointment would likely have been buried on both sides–after her many apologetic and loving gestures.
But in 10 years, things looked different. She wrote, “My kids would be gone and my career [would be] at full throttle, whether I had gotten one promotion or not. But on some visceral level, my son would still know that I had chosen to miss one of the seminal events of his life for my own advancement. That was damage I could never undo.” So… she skipped off to her son’s big moment and never looked back!
Looking at the long view makes a difference. And beyond our own expanded perspective, it’s also helpful to remember an even grander angle–that infinite, Universal aspect. By whatever name, there’s a divine unity that encompasses every beach, forest, and moment in our lives. Carl Sagan wrote, “The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.” Remembering this keeps us humble! It reminds us that, no matter what challenges we face, the sun will still rise and set, and time and life will continue to move forward. From that expansive outlook, we can be certain that there’s always a greater reason for every fall of a leaf or turn of a stone. It’s never all about me–but it IS all (and always) just as it should be!
So, as we head into Virgo and our spiritual preparation for the New Year, we have the tools both to perceive the details AND to step back and take a fuller view of our lives. Ruled by the planet Mercury–the planet of communication and self-understanding, this month is the perfect time to let go of any past hurts or grudges, which can impede our progress like the sand that gets caught in our shoe.
As Taylor Swift sings, just “shake it off,” and keep that X-ray focus on all the ways you can usher in more order, Light, and positive change for yourself and the world!