Never before in the history of time, has there ever been you. And never again in the future, will you ever exist again.
Just sit with that for a moment.
Your skin, your eyes, your cells. The birth marks on your thighs, the stretch marks on your belly, the scars and tattoos hidden underneath your clothes. Your personal style, how you like to wear your hair, the way you talk, the way you move, the way you dance. Your mannerisms, your quirks, your guilty pleasures.
Your family history, your secrets, your childhood, your bloodline, your ancestors – the ones you do and don’t know. Your beliefs, your perspectives, your ethics – what they were 10 years ago, and what they are today. The inside jokes that made you pee your pants, the cheesy cat commercials that made your eyes well up with tears.
Every hurt that you never got over, every hurt that has never stopped you from being magnificent. Every small and large experience that has shaped you.
You body, your spirit, your mind. Your passion, your grief, your survival. Your purpose. Your gift.
Never before this moment has there ever been you, exactly as you are.
Never again in the future, no matter how long and far and deep you look, will you ever find this perfect storm of your existence.
There is this scientific and mathematical concept called chaos theory. Not that I really know much about it except for what I learned from that one Simpson’s episode and that one Ashton Kutcher movie.
But in my humble nutshell, chaos theory says that one small change in history could result in any number of unpredictable changes in the future. In other words, changing the most minuscule event in the past can completely alter what life looks like today. For example, if your great-great-great grandfather took a left turn instead of a right, that little difference could cause so many ripples down the line that generations later, you could look like a totally different person than you are. You could have significantly different life experiences, or maybe you wouldn’t exist at all.
So really, sit with it. Believe it. Think of this when you are anxious, stressed, heart-broken, raging or inconsolable. Let this fill your spirit like the sun shining on your skin after the rain.
Never before in the history of time has there ever been you, just as you are. And never again in the future, will you ever exist again.
When we are filled with the truth of ourselves, we remember that we are miracles.
And what does one do when a miracle occurs? Bust open the fucking champagne. Pump up the music. Party, dance, laugh, hug, make-out, cry. Bask in how in love you are with yourself and with life itself. In this space, we want for nothing. In this truth, we rejoice for everything.
This is the spirit of Leo.
Leos run on this vibration all the time. So no kidding they have the reputation in the zodiac for being loud, dramatic, flamboyant, extra.
Leo is like, hell yeah I’m too much! Forget all those affirmation mantras I’m supposed to repeat to myself, like ‘I am enough.’ I’m not just enough, I’m extraordinary!
Leo says: No, you’re not going to just *like* me. You’re going to LOVE me. Never say to me, “Oh yeah, I know Shaunga. She’s nice.” Nice? Fuck you. I’m not nice, I’m adorable! I am a miracle, and you will treat me accordingly.
It’s not a one way street with Leo. Leo wears their heart on their sleeve and they give as hard as they need to receive. When Leo falls in love, they fall in love hard and fast and furious.
Leo loves you like they know, they will never get the chance to love you again.
Leo says: Please, whatever you do, don’t hold back on me, because I sure as hell can’t hold back on you.
The spirit of Leo is an urgent need to express, to create, to love and to lead like the ferocious queen of all animal creatures. The spirit of Leo knows how high the stakes are. It’s not enough to just be ourselves, we need to share ourselves.
It’s not enough to just live, we need to leave a legacy.
The spirit of Leo is divine creation. Just like all the zodiac signs live somewhere in each of our birth charts, Leo’s divine creativity exists in all of us too. Divine creativity has a unique expression in each person, and needs to manifest specifically according to who we are.
Divine creativity for some of us is inspiration waking us up in the middle of the night and we know we gotta get up and write our book. For others, it’s spending hours in the kitchen brewing a masterpiece. Or it’s re-vamping our personal style after a major break-up, death or transition, to truly reflect the new person we’ve become. Or it’s getting lost on the dance floor, moving our body like nobody else moves.
However your divine creativity manifests, we all know the feeling when we connect to it. We feel pumped, stoked, ecstatic, so into a person, project, environment, situation, or version of ourselves.
We feel exactly like who we are supposed to be. We feel so damn fucking in love.
I was 12 years old when I first fell in love. I was an awkward, dorky, quirky, shy, passionate band geek, and I was deep and hard in love with music.
When I started playing in the school band, there was something about experiencing what it was like to create sound and feeling with a large group of people. Pouring my heart and life experiences into the music; my body and spirit lifted by a collective of people doing the same. It filled everything in me with joy. It brought me to tears regularly.
Literally, I remember riding home on the school bus after a grade 9 band competition and crying while listening to “I’ll Be The One” by the Backstreet Boys on my discman; with Derek on the seat across from me pointing and laughing (yes, I still remember your name, Derek). I didn’t care if dorky boys made fun of me or didn’t want to go out with me. I was in love with music and music loved me back. Music was confessing and channelling its message to me through BSB lyrics: “I’ll be the one to make all your sorrows undone! I’ll be the light to hold you, to make you feel like you’ll be alright!”
A few days back I was meeting some friends and their dog, Shao-Hu at Hanlan’s Point on Toronto Island. Given the floods this year, I had to wade through the water to get to a secluded patch of beach where they were hanging out. And first let me tell you, Shao-Hu, a dog unlike most dogs, hates being in the water. I have never seen him willingly walk or play in water. And yet when he saw me approaching the shore, he was so excited to see me that he ran into the lake. There he was, braving ice cold waves slapping him in the face and pushing him backwards. But he still held his ground, taking one tiny, resilient step toward me at a time. Finally we reached each other and we both flopped onto the shore.
And I thought, Daaamnnn this is looove!! It’s not every day someone shows up this hard for me! Sure, he could have waited on the sand where he was peaceful and comfortable, I would have made it there eventually.
But no, he willingly and passionately endured something he hates just because he didn’t want to wait to love me.
This is the spirit of Leo, laying it all out on the line.
But here’s the catch: Who in this world can love this big, this open, and not get hurt? Not me. Not you.
When we love and shine as our brightest, most authentic selves, it is one of the most scary, risky things we can do. When we find a way to access and express the absolute best version of ourselves, it is both impossibly joyful and unavoidably painful.
When we were young, we learned what and who we needed to be in order to receive validation. A lot of the time, this didn’t align with who we really are. Maybe we were praised for being agreeable, quiet, uncertain, or controllable. We were applauded when we were subservient to someone else’s needs. We were taught that we would be more valuable if we weren’t too loud, too big, too full of ourselves. We were judged for “asking for too much attention.” We learned not to take up too much space in order to be good.
As children, and as adults who carry around the vulnerable child within us, who we are in our core is not always seen. When it is seen, it is not always respected.
Sometimes we are praised for being smart and serious, when we really most love ourselves when we’re funny. Sometimes we’re only celebrated for being the life of the party, when we really need solitude to be energized. Sometimes we believe the only way to contribute to our communities is to soothe people when they’re in pain, when what we really want to do is inspire people to play. We learn it’s “weak” to want intimacy and partnership when we actually have amazing, strong relationship skills. We’re taught that we are “cold and isolated” if we want to be single when that’s more of the life that we want.
The journey of Leo is about discovering the difference between attention and love. When are they the same thing and what happens when they diverge? Does what I know will get me attention actually make me feel loved? If I truly commit to my purpose, my shine, my reason for being here, will I be accepted? Will anybody receive my gifts with enthusiasm? If not, is conforming to other people’s expectations a better alternative? Can I be who I was meant to be, even if it hurts?
For Leo, there is no other answer, other than courage.
Lessons of Leo season remind us to lean into the part of ourselves that is afraid. Tell yourself it’s okay to be scared, and that you cannot spend your life conforming to fear. Tell yourself that you will get hurt, and you will be brave. Know that you will be rewarded for that. You will receive the most long-lasting gift from making that choice: the peace and strength you get from your own validation.
Last time in Cancer season, we talked about Cancer and Leo as representing the Moon and the Sun, aka the heart of the entire zodiac cycle. Cancer encourages us to access and express an emotional generosity. What Leo asks of us, is for a generosity of spirit.
A generosity of spirit reminds us of the truly heroic part of ourselves. The lion/lionness. While Cancer says, “I will put you and your emotional well-being first, not at the expense of myself, but in a way that enlarges my heart.” Leo says, “I will put others first, by putting life itself first.”
All of you came here with a purpose. A mission. Something divine to contribute. Something magical to create and express. You all came here with a miracle underneath your skin. With an itch aching to radiate out into the world. We all have a voice calling from deep within us: Please just be you, because nobody else is. Please do the thing you came here to do. Nobody else does it better.
The Leo truth is, we didn’t come here to keep our gifts to ourselves. We didn’t come here to keep our genius to ourselves. We didn’t come here to just kinda sorta be who we are or float around ourselves. We came here to scream it, sing it, roar it.
And this can be done in the most internal, private, intimate way, if that’s what it is. Our gift is not synonymous with fame or extroversion. It can be the work we do in relationships. How we take care of our family. Our love for animals. Crisis support in the middle of the night. Behind the scenes activist work. Or you know, belting a power note on a broadway stage…
There’s a faulty assumption that when we go about our lives doing our Leo thing, we are self-centred. No, our Leo thing is the most generous thing we can do. When we connect to the spirit of Leo, we inspire life around us. We contribute something special. So much so that if we didn’t share it, there would be a gap, an emptiness, a hold in the world where we were supposed to be.
And when we give love like that, when we are generous with our spirit, what we get back in return is infinite.
It’s like, okay. You know if you’re leaning outside the passenger side of a moving car because you have to puke and you aim your puke forward and away from you out the window? But then the puke just hits you back in the face?
It’s exactly like that, except with your love!
Maybe the weirdest (grossest) metaphor I’ve come up with, but it’s true. Honour the lessons of Leo season by believing in your gift. So much that you puke it out of your window, selflessly. The abundance of your love will hit you back in the face, guarantee. That’s how physics works and shit.
Lean into the way you love that is completely your own, and completely necessary. Be generous with what you have to give, because it makes you bigger. Because you most of all can experience how bright and warm your love is, just like the sun. It’s okay if it’s scary. It’s okay if it hurts. It’s okay if takes time. It’s okay if you need to spend moments tending to pain instead of creating.
But Leo is here to say, just don’t let that pain be the only thing you do with your life-time.
Don’t forget about the part of yourself that wants to be brave. Don’t forget about the part of yourself that is here for an adventure. Don’t forget about the part of yourself that has never been broken. Don’t leave that part of yourself behind. Lead with it.
Everyone is waiting to feel you, love you, celebrate you. Everyone is waiting. I promise.