Any good story has a heroine. In this one, it’s me. The external version of me. The bits that people can see and experience. The part with the degrees, the job, the full passport, and the energy to dance and laugh and dream.

Any good story also has a villain. In this one, it’s also me. The internal me. Those dark corners where debilitating thoughts run rampant, and where happiness and strength are questioned, stifled, and eventually shattered.

Or are they. Let’s start at the beginning.

(Yes, this post is about my and my rocking birth sign. But it’s also about why I love to destroy, and why you should too.)

Last week was my birthday. Yep, I’m a Scorpio, the most powerful of astrological signs because of our incredible abilities to create, destroy, and cut straight to the heart of the matter with our clarity.

Sometimes we use those powers for good. We’re the folks you want in a crisis or on a team, because we get things done. We aren’t usually the most popular, but we’re damn effective. We’re also the folks people want as friends, because we will fight to the death for ideas and people we believe in.

With that intensity comes power, and lots of it. Often, when we lose control of our power, things get really, really ugly. We can be moody and demanding. Any Google search will bring up a list of ‘stuff’ we’re capable of.

Even with the lists and warnings, I’m proud to be a Scorpio. I will hustle like nobody’s business. The external version of me is strong, fearless, and focused (words commonly used to describe me). Things happen when I’m around, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

But here’s the reality: Behind that ‘Let’s just get it done’ attitude lurks the villain. And, as if on schedule, the villain loves to emerge during my birthday.

Over the years, I’ve used various methods of grappling with my villain. Hiding (I’m not a hermit, so that failed).  Anger (think Cruella Deville x 10).  Brooding (Negative Nelly is not invited to stay, although she does visit).  Throwing (teenage years were rough as a Scorpio, and I’m glad I’m past it).

And then I met my inner Phoenix. Kali. Fire. Destroyer.

After years of repressing my inner villain so people would only see the heroine, I have recognized the beauty, power, and healing abilities of my Phoenix.

I find an almost diabolic sense of relief and space in fire, destruction, cleaning, organizing, and purging.

I did some research on why this destructive energy resonated so much with me. Was it because, as a bone fide Scorpio, I just loved the extreme? Was it because I was drowning in lists and to dos, and removing items allowed my inner Type A organizer to breathe?

It’s a little of the above. But what I found the most interesting was the following:

As a Scorpio, I’m also a Phoenix.

Snap! What? The Phoenix? Um, right, that’s kinda, stinking, freaking powerful and it absol-freaking-lutely makes sense.

Just when I thought that was already a pretty loaded ‘Aha’, it became even more intense.

My Scorpio ability to destroy is the first step to re-birth. I destroy obstacles, which allows my Phoenix to rise. And, when I’ve risen, I soar. The final version of my self, before I crash to earth again in my destructive cycle, is the Eagle.

Coming full circle, my Scorpio destroys, my Phoenix rises, and my Eagle soars.

Right, no pressure whatsoever with that set of images. And yet, once I realized this connection, I also recognized a pattern in my life.

When things are at their lowest, where the calm AND the storm come together, I end up doing three things:

  • Purge and destroy (stuff, people, bad energies, and calendars)
  • Revisit and realign (sometimes re-define) my Grit
  • Run forward fast, strong, and sometimes a bit recklessly (for me, pushing forward despite hesitations is more effective than analyzing the possible repercussions)

I don’t say this is the right approach for everyone, but I have recognized the pattern in my own life. Just as my dramatic Scorpio self wants to give up and lie down to die (a la an actress in an Elizabethan drama—over the top, dramatic Scorpio here remember), I need double down on self care and channel my energy and time in to purging anything in my life blocking my vision.

No, this doesn’t mean I tell everyone to bug off while I destroy a few things (although I sometimes wish I could say that).  It means I need more space and time to my self while I allow the destruction and rebirth to occur.

Maybe it’s the fall season. Maybe it’s the impending holiday season of too much. Maybe it’s the new year around the corner.

I obviously don’t expect you to become as focused and fanatic as me in the purge process, but I did want to extend an invitation to my Purge Party.

If you are feeling overrun with commitments, lists, goals, unfinished classes, overflowing closets, insane calendars, call backs, etc., it’s time to throw a little Purge Party. Some ideas:

  • Clear 3 things off your calendar (Do you really want to go to that party, or is guilt making you?)
  • Unsubscribe from email lists (If you keep deleting without reading, it’s time to purge)
  • Find 7 things to give away this week, 1 per day
  • Clean out the junk drawer or closet
  • Etc.

My purges tend to be a bit more intense, but they always include smaller ideas like the ones above.

Clear some space, and allow your inner Phoenix to rise.