Friday, December 30, 2011

12/31/11—1/1/12—Maintaining Our Balance

Weekend Reading: Justice from the Deviant Moon. It's New Year's Eve weekend, so my first responsibility is to read this card as a cautionary "moderation in all things" message. Justice is about being fair and even and all. But this dude is adeptly picking up a sizable fish monster with his meaty toes. That's talent! So if you choose not to listen to my first advice, then use your gifts for all they're worth this weekend. Perhaps a memorable "dance of the silk scarves"? Your best karaoke version of My Sharona? Or a dramatic reading from The Princess Bride? We've all got our own special version of freaked out monkey feet. So if you're going to do it, do it all the way down to your mutant opposable big toe. That's what I say. But personally I'll be staying out of trouble this holiday weekend and doing my best to maintain my balance. Just like the guy in the picture. Who is firmly, calmly and solidly standing on one foot, despite what all his other appendages are up to. That's a talent, too.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

12/30/11—Opening to the Possibilities Within

Today's Draw: The Sun of Life and Queen of Stones from both the Greenwood and Wildwood Tarots. What might be lying dormant within you, just waiting to burst forth? What are you beginning to become more spiritually aware of? And if you had a mystical superpower, what do you think it might be?

So today we're going to do something a little different and delve into a bit of tarot lore concerning two decks—the Greenwood Tarot and the Wildwood Tarot. Before I begin my scholarly report, however, I would like to point out that I didn't do too well in my Journalism classes at Indiana University. I tended to dramatize, make assumptions and muddy the waters between truth and legend too much for their tastes. So I changed my major to broadcasting where you can get away with that shit.

That said, there once was a deck called the Greenwood. It was a Celtic/Earth-Centered deck printed in 1996 that really captured a pagan, shamanic niche of the tarot marketplace that hadn't previously been explored. Many of the Major Arcana cards were re-named and re-numbered. And, instead of the court cards being humans, they were represented by animals. So, in a way, it had its own "system". Many people felt the deck had a very special mystical/tribal/prehistoric feel and when the deck went out of print, the legend of its "powers" grew. A deck that probably originally sold for $20 skyrocketed in price. If you're interested, there is a new one available on Amazon today for $1600.

Anyway, legend has it that the original artist, Chesca Potter, became a born-again Christian and is no longer interested in having anything to do with tarot. Her art can't be reprinted without her permission, so the original writer, Mark Ryan, teamed up with John Matthews and Will Worthington to recreate and rethink the deck. The new deck, the Wildwood Tarot, follows the same basic structure or system of the Greenwood, reusing many of the changed names for cards and even, in some places, closely mirroring the art. While it is, for the most part, its own deck, I would classify it as being strongly based on the Greenwood. Even the book for the Wildwood borrows text from the Greenwood book. Certainly nobody denies or even tries to hide the close connection between the two.

So here we are with today's draw and I decided to draw two cards to give you more of a feel for the two decks. The cards above are from the Wildwood, the new deck. And the ones right here are from the Greenwood.

I would interpret the two cards the same whether they came from the Greenwood or the Wildwood. The Sun is about giving life and illuminating parts of yourself that you either intentionally or otherwise keep in the dark. In both Sun cards, the sun is burning through the man, activating his heart center and electrifying him with universal power. A nice touch in both Sun cards is the Uffington Horse. Legend has it if you stand in the horse's eye and turn three times, you can receive illumination, power and the life-giving healing energy of the sun.

There's a nice tie-in between the Sun and the bears, because bears often symbolize hibernation, which is dictated by temperature fluctuations and food inavailabilities caused by the absence of the sun. In both bear cards, the bears are waking, but in the Wildwood, the bear is already up and greeting the dawn of a new adventure. Another tie-in is that both the sun and bears are symbolic of power, one of earthly strength and the other of universal power. The suit of stones is specifically focused on monetary power or prosperity.

Taken together, I'd say it's time for all of us to burst out of this sleepwalk we're in and reclaim our divine power. There is so much that lies dormant within us that we never access. One of the theories behind the whole 2012 mystery is that this is what this coming year is all about. It's supposed to draw a line in the sand where we will no longer be able to deny the advanced abilities that rest within us. Some feel this is a long-term awakening that has been going on for years. Others believe a switch will be flipped or we'll suddenly need to rely on our higher powers for survival.

Regardless of whether you believe that or not, there isn't one among us who is living at our full potential. There may be many who go through life "firing all engines" as far as their energy is concerned. But this is less about expending energy than it is about using the fullness of the capabilities that lie within. And what I mean by that may include your ability to spontaneously manifest your desires, utilize your sixth sense, heal energetically, increase your capacity to learn and other "miracles" of the mind and body.

I think only the most conservative people will deny there are savants out there who are especially blessed with one of those talents. I'm a fan of Lisa Williams, the British medium. I've seen her in action and felt the energy she draws out. She is WAY more accurate in her readings than the statistical mean. Then there are intellectual savants who have a significantly greater capacity to learn and understand. There are also physical "geniuses" that can push their bodies beyond the realms of other humans.

While there will always be people at the extremes of any ability, we all have abilities far beyond our consciousness. What happens is that we find early on that our talent for math or basketball or painting is less than extraordinary, so we pursue other areas where we feel we have more talent or interest instead. In doing so, we stop developing those other areas. The capacity to develop those areas still exists. So while we can learn to be a better artist, if we think we have little affinity for it, we don't develop that talent. Our minds are littered with abandoned playgrounds.

Another thing that happens is that we're told the imaginary friends and spontaneous insights we have as a very young child are imaginings and not real. So we suppress many of our inborn instincts because we're told they're fantasy.

These two cards together are saying that there's something within you that's ready to emerge and see the light. You may know what this might be something that's been marinating for a while. Or it might be something you abandoned a while back. Or it may be something you don't realize you even have a capacity for. This past week we've talked about waiting for the right moment to pounce, thinking outside of the sheep herd and connecting to the vastness of you. It all points at stepping into the larger you you were meant to become.

The first step is to open the door to all possibilities. For example, I don't believe in fairies. So I will probably never see a fairy. Fairies may be twinkling all around me, but I've closed off the possibility to them. Opening yourself to all possibilities is opening yourself—genuinely—to things that may seem silly or childish to you.

After that, just observe and don't discount any imaginings you may have. Once you start noticing "coincidences" or "spontaneous manifestations", for example, the more often they appear in your life. Once you hold a space for the "impossible" to fill—and the more you believe there is no such thing as impossible—the more magic is able to flow into your life. There are entire worlds that exist within our own that we don't see and can't access, simply because we shut ourselves off to them through our disbelief. It's time to stop the sleep walk—or sheep walk—of our lives and allow the sun to illuminate entire new worlds of possibility.

For those wanting to try a meditation after yesterday's entry, try this: Close your eyes and imagine a dimly lit landscape within. With each breath, imagine the sun creeping into the landscape more and more, illuminating more and more of the landscape. Take your time with this. Imagine it as being akin to the daily lengthening of sunlight of this time of year (in the Northern hemisphere). Let the light seep further and further in, illuminating shadows and secret hollows within you. What do you see? What reflects the sun's light most? What has been hidden by the walls and hedges you've built within? What can you see in the sun's fullest light that you've never been able to see before?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

12/29/11—Accessing Your Eternal Self

Today's Draw: No-Mind from the Osho Transformation Tarot. Do you meditate or wish you could? If you've tried and failed in the past, how long did you try? What are your experiences with meditation?

Osho is a name given to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh an Indian mystic and guru. Most of what I know about his philosophy comes from the Osho Zen Tarot (which is one of my go-to decks) and this oracle deck. His teachings ascribe to many areas of Eastern thought, but most of it reflects the gentle, profound teachings of Zen Buddhism. Reading up on him tonight, his life was surrounded by controversy and drama, so he may be a case of "pay attention to the message and not the messenger" for some.

I have held many Eastern practices and philosophies on and off over the years. I do chanting on and off. I chanted a mala every night for years, which means repeating the same mantra 108 times every night. But one thing that has been constant is that I meditate in one way or another every day, as I have done for nearly 30 years. And "No-Mind" is one of the cornerstones of meditation.

A lot of people say their mind is too busy to meditate, they have ADD or are too busy. That's just excuses. If all you have is five minutes, that's enough. In fact, the less time you feel you have, the more you probably need to meditate. As for the busy mind, I actually started meditating because of how active my head was. Besides, not all meditation requires you to strip all thought away—one requires you to be hyper-conscious of your environment, not screen it out. There's really something that will work for anyone. So, if you want to bring more discipline, quiet or focus to your mind and body, investigate the many forms meditation, including the moving ones.

All that said, I like to go into that transcendental place of no-mind. That place inside us is that part that is eternal and exists within us throughout every incarnation. It is us at our most pure. It is us as the divine. In that time and moment, we are connected with all existence, with that place that is common to us whether we're animal, plant, mineral or ether. Connecting to that most basic and eternal essence is a gift I give myself nearly every night, and because I've been practicing for so long, I can find that place easily in pretty much any moment. 

The illustration on this card depicts that silence and stillness for me. I imagine the vastness and silence of outer space to mirror the vastness and silence of that within. As there is significant space between matter in the universe, meditation creates significant space between the thoughts in our minds. To me, it brings me into that vast place of emptiness ripe for creation. One of my favorite tarot cards ever is from the Osho Zen tarot that also illustrates that wonder for me. If you're reading this on Facebook, you can see it at

Have you ever been out in nature and listened to the profound silence that sits beneath the peace and quiet? That's the silence I'm talking about. The further you are from society, the easier it is to hear. But there's a riverside spot along a busy Parkway here where that silence is louder to me than the sounds of the cars passing by. And in the past couple of years it's getting louder and louder in my back yard. If you don't know what I'm talking about, give a listen the next time you're out in nature. I don't know how to put it other than it is the loud silence beneath the peace and quiet. I believe this silence exists everywhere in the universe, whether you're on a planet or in the nothingness. Sometimes I'm able to hear it within me even when I'm busy thinking. Like now. This isn't something you create, it's the most basic and everlasting part of you. It's there. You just have to remember how to be there with it.

Meditation brings us into the moment. It strips away everything but what is real and true. If you don't have a way to access this place of no-mind, consider adding it in the coming year. Here's the thing, though. It doesn't come overnight. It takes practice and develops over years. Like a diet or exercise routine, it's a discipline. But it's one that can benefit you on so many levels. It's definitely worth the investment of time and effort and I bet if you commit 5-10 minutes to it daily in 2012, you'll find it changes your life. So what are your experiences with meditation?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

12/28/11—Questioning Conformity

Today's Draw: Eight of Matter from Tarot de Paris. Do you consider yourself a conformist or nonconformist? What things do you feel right in conforming to? And have you ever encountered issues from not conforming?

The Eight of Matter or Pentacles is about apprenticeship. The book for this deck brings up a few interesting, less common points, however. The first is about this being the card of the traditionalist, which I hadn't heard before. And the other interpretation is about producing new works by reinterpreting classic works.

The book also said that conservatives or traditionalists are always suspicious of anything that disrupts the power of conformity. That got me thinking of some people in my life. I'm not a huge conformist. In fact, I tend to question the things that are considered the norm. Some things make sense. Some don't.

One of those things that doesn't make sense to me is signing a contract saying you'll spend the rest of your life with another person (aka marriage). I believe that people come into and out of our lives for a reason and to meet someone and say "I like you today, so I shall sign a contract saying I'll spend the rest of my life with you. And if I change my mind, I will gladly meet up with you in a court of law and give half of everything I own to you."

Just doesn't make sense to me. And I remember that people always told me that when I met the right person, I'd change my mind and want to sign that contract and tie myself forever to someone I may or may not like 10 years from now. They also said I'd change my mind about wanting to have children. I have about three eggs left and they're all in the scratch and dent bin. I doubt that's ever gonna happen either. But there are some people out there that don't see these things as options. Either you do them and are accepted. Or there are concerned whispers, saddened sighs or rumors of homosexuality uttered behind your back.

It's not like I have to be single and childless to buck conformity, though. There's the whole psychic thing. My unstructured entrepreneurial lifestyle. My undefined spirituality. You name it, all the way down to my colorful house. I tend to make die-hard conformists itch. But that's ok, I guess. I'm not terribly impressed by them, either. ;)

I feel very strongly that we shouldn't just accept things because "that's the way they're done". Marriage, for example, works very well for some people. But I feel like people shouldn't get married just because that's what people in their 20s or 30s do when they're in love. I feel like people should always question their beliefs and practices before they set them in stone, whether it's getting married, having children, pursuing their spirituality, managing their career or anything. Sometimes convention works for people. Sometimes being unconventional works. But if you just blindly do, how do you know what works for you?

So, what widely held practice or belief do you question? How do you buck conformity, or do you?

Monday, December 26, 2011

12/27/11—Waiting To Make Our Move

Today's Draw: The Hanged Man from the Maroon Tarot. Do you have a New Year's tradition? What does it involve? And if you make resolutions or wishes, what will be on your list this year?

The Hanged Man is a card that is traditionally about patience, time in suspension or voluntary sacrifice. It's sort of a neutral card in the tarot. It's not one you dread getting, nor is it one you look forward to. It says now is not the time to act. You may experience a delay before you get what you want. Or you may have to give up something of value to get what you want.

But this Hanged Man is kind of interesting. First, he's hanging like a bat. He has bat wings. Usually you might see this card using all manner of rope and restraints to hang the man upside down, but this guy hangs on his own volition, organically.

Nor is he somber or of neutral gaze. He knows very well what he's waiting for. Despite the fact that he's been waiting quite some time, he's infinitely alert. The way he holds his arms betrays his discipline. Rather than being caught in a web, you get the impression he's the creator of the web. These pod-like things seem to be part of his plan...perhaps the remains of earlier prey?

He's like a frog waiting for a fly. A cat awaiting a mouse. A hunter tracking a deer. Soon, whatever he's waiting for will come into striking distance. And it will not stand a chance.

When it comes to creating change in our lives, January 1 is a symbolic, yet arbitrary day to launch a new beginning. And yet it's the day we wait for each year in order to make our move. We could do the same on Arbor Day, our birthday or today and the occasion would be just as fitting. But at least we know on this day, we'll have plenty of company with plenty of energy behind change.

What are you waiting to begin with the new year? A new health regime? Something with your career? Each year I have a tradition around the New Year, usually involving resolutions. Some years I'll do affirmations instead of resolutions. It all depends on what I think is the wisest tack for me at that particular time of my life.

2011 was a pretty big year for me. I got a publishing contract and wrote a book. Won awards for my creative work. Completed a whole calendar year with my blog. "Appeared" on a radio program. Did a good deal of professional tarot reading. Started teaching classes. Had a few passing male interests. Came out of a dense multi-year fog. And just really made some significant leaps in my personal and spiritual ways of being.

So I looked back in my journal to see what I had resolved for the year and what I had written in last year's year-end retrospective, a tradition I had been keeping for 20 years or more. And you know what I found? Nothing. I blew it off last year!

The one year that I accomplished more than I usually do in any five years, I made no resolutions, surrounded it with no ceremony and gave it no import whatsoever. I didn't even give myself one of my soulful tarot readings to guide said tradition. I completely blew it off.

For the past week I've been kind of plotting in my mind how I would greet the new year and honor my yearly tradition, but realizing I had a banner year the year I skipped tradition entirely, I'm thinking twice. Sometimes the best plans are the ones you don't make, I suppose.

So what's your plan for greeting the New Year?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

12/23/11-12/26/11—Welcoming Your Angels

Today I'm going to do a weekend reading to take you through December 26th and I'm going to take a break from the blog during that time. Have a blessed holiday. See you again on the 27th!

Christmas Weekend Reading: The Angel from the Christmas Tarot by Corrine Kenner. Whether the holidays are a time of loneliness, temptation, sadness or joy for you, know that your angels, guides and loved ones are always "up there" watching over you. If you feel lost, listen for their guidance. If you feel afraid, feel their arms around you. If you feel alone, welcome their presence. If you feel sad, let them lift your heart. And if you feel joy, remember to share it with them. We go through our days oblivious to their presence, but they are always there for us. They will not interfere, but if you ask for their help, they're willing to comply. And while you're talking to them, ask them to help you take better care of yourself so you can get the rest and comfort and nourishment you need during this busy time of year. Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12/22/11—Putting Things Into Perspective

Today's Draw: The Prince of Dishes (Cups) from the Kalevala Tarot. Is something really pissing you off or upsetting you right now? Is it worth the energy you're putting into it? Could you use a little perspective?

The little white book that comes with this deck says only this about this card, "learning from and about your feelings." It came to me at the perfect time, just seconds after I was given some emotional perspective. 

Earlier in the day I had gotten some really frustrating news about a project I've been working on for a while. You know, in advertising, a client will say they want something new and fresh and so you'll get all excited and put a lot of energy behind the new and fresh and when you deliver it they'll be all happy. Then a week later you'll get an email saying they've decided to stick with old and stale. Very frustrating. I was excited for their new direction. And I cared less about my exact ideas than I did about their new direction. But at the end of the day, I'm a freelancer and, having already gone a couple of rounds trying to keep "the vision", there comes a time when you just have to shut up, smile and do what you're told.
So there I was, peeved and exasperated, when I got a call about someone close to me who has cancer. This is another situation I feel very frustrated about. Because this person is insulating themself and their family from the emotion of all of this at this time, I feel distanced—distanced from what I want to say to them. The diagnosis is still fresh. It's the holidays. So much is up in the air, in the dark and in denial. Gauging the situation from where I stand, now is not the time to pull them aside and have an emotional conversation. And, of course, I fear I'll never have that opportunity. But right now there are larger considerations that override our relationship or my needs, understandably.

And just a few hours before, I was pissed about the client thing. Perspective can be pretty powerful. 

In a few days, we're all going to be getting together with friends and family. There are a lot of logistics between now and then. There can be a lot of complex emotional dynamics involved, too. 

I've lost enough loved ones to know that sickness, death, depression, addiction and the other things that threaten to take our loved ones away change everything. People we didn't have the time for become more important. People we thought we didn't like become precious. And issues like an overcooked turkey, a child who's slow getting dressed and a present that didn't show up on time become trivial when all you want is for someone to know what's in your heart before they die. Or when you feel powerless to take away their pain and fear and anger over their illness. 

A while back I advised one of my friends, "when you're upset about something, ask yourself if it will mean anything to you five years from now. Because those are the only things worth our energy." She quotes it back to me all the time. I find myself forgetting it all too often. 

So just take a moment over the holidays when something pushes your buttons and ask yourself that question. Will it matter in five years? Take yourself out of the moment and put things in perspective. Although a lot of things may try, nothing can ruin your holiday without your permission. And when you're sitting around that table full of family and friends, look each in the eye and feel how much they mean to you, even if they tend to get on your last nerve. Because the only thing worse than having to spend this holiday with them, is having to spend all the rest of your holidays without them.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12/21/11—Exploring Childhood Dreams

Today's Draw: The Empress from Marcia McCord's Tea Tarot. What kind make believe or pretend games did you play as a child? What did those fantasies reveal about what you wanted to be when you grew up? Are you living that dream?

For those keeping score, this may as well be the same card we got yesterday. Like yesterday's card, the Empress is usually pictured pregnant, nurturing the creation that's about to be born. Today's image is a bit different, though. It's a little girl having a tea party. 

Back when we were small, we played pretend as a way of playing a dress rehearsal of sorts. We'd try a role on and see if we liked playing it. I wasn't much of a doll girl. But I had a ridiculous number of stuffed animals. I wasn't much into playing mommy, but I did enjoy playing veterinarian. And there was a time in my life that I did want to be a veterinarian. 

What I didn't realize until now is that, while other girls were playing with dolls who were their babies, I was playing with stuffed pets who were my babies. That's what my dream family was and that's the family I have today. 

I think I've told the story before about how, when I was 3 or 4, I had a "vision" or thought that I would grow up to be a writer living in Maine. Well, I'm a writer. And I may end up making it to Maine still. Who knows?

Our childhood holds the key to the life we dreamed of living. We may have interpreted it wrong—I thought I was meant to be a veterinarian and I'm glad I'm not one today. We may have dismissed it because we don't think we're big enough to live that dream. Or we may have veered off course a little. Then again, maybe we're living it. 

I tend to believe there are no mistakes in life. We are where we are because we need to be. But maybe it's time to look back at those dreams and make believes and ask ourselves if there's still a part of us that wants that dream. Maybe just dig around a little and see what that little girl or boy thought being a grown up meant, whether it meant being a mommy or a doctor or garbageman. 

(I have a brother who, through a childhood trauma involving his discarded bottle or bott bott, dreamed of growing up to become a garbage man, because, I presume, he felt they had all the power and got all the good stuff. Either that or he wanted to bring down the entire garbageman empire from the inside as some sort of revenge for them driving off with his bott bott.) 

Anyway, the point is, are you living your dream? You may discover you are. You may discover your childhood dreams don't resonate with you as an adult. Or you may discover there's something you may end up regretting not reaching for. Thing is, you have to become conscious—you have to ask yourself these questions—before you can make moves to get it. Because it would totally stink if you didn't do a review until the very last minutes of your life and only then realize what you missed.

Monday, December 19, 2011

12/20/11—Preparing for Opportunity

Today's Draw: Our Lady of Her Pregnant Self from Illuminate! Life Journey Cards by Linda Clayton. What is it that you really want out of life? Are you hoping that it will magically materialize before you and whisk you away? Or are you taking steps toward it every day?

OK, I cheated. I had an Eight of Wands from the Cosmic Tribe all queued up for this entry when my vicious beasts started gnarling, gnashing and flailing at the front window. The foamy, slobbery whip they worked up could only signal one thing—mailman! To my delight, he was bearing three packages and a fresh notch on his belt indicating a delivery earlier in the day where he managed to sneak two letters into my mailbox without waking Beelzebub and her faithful sidekick, Kizzie. Anyway, this oracle deck was among those packages.

Oddly, however, there is a connection between Our Lady of Her Pregnant Self (OLHPS) and that Eight of Wands. OHLPS is a card about lending your life force to something new that's about to come into creation. It could be a new project, a new idea or a new way of being. When the time comes, she will give birth to what is gestating within her. Now, the Eight of Wands I had chosen was all about seizing the moment. It's about that instant where everything you've been preparing for is about to burst into reality. 

See the connection? Yes, I thought you might. 

I'll bet if you looked back on your life, you'd see where pretty much everything happened at the right moment, when all elements were in alignment to make it possible. Even if it didn't seem that way at the time. Albeit there are some things we have to admit there is a never a right time for. Like the death of a loved one. But for the most part, when you have the perspective to look back dispassionately on a situation, you can how every step led you to where you are today in perfect time. 

The Roman philosopher, Seneca, said "luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." I love that quote because I believe we make our own luck. We prepare for something and when the opportunity presents, we strike. OHLPS and the Eight of Wands are both saying the opportunity is near or here. Are you prepared?

And by prepared, I mean are you logistically, emotionally, intellectually and otherwise prepared? Have you done the work? There are so many things we bemoan we don't have. How come Tim Tebow gets God's favor? How come Oprah gets to own her own planet? How come Tierney Sadler gets to be an extremely cool, underground cult blogger?

Reaching a goal isn't about suffering all your life doing something unrelated until you earn enough brownie points to have something different, magical and wonderful bestowed upon you. It's about putting in your time with the different, magical and wonderful thing you want so that when the opportunity comes along, you're ready. I've worked all my adult life as a writer to become a writer. I didn't spend all that time, say, working as a project coordinator and hoping one day God would make me a writer. 

So if there's something out there that you want—a job, a lifestyle, status—what have you done to prepare? Again, suffering so much that you deserve a break isn't preparation. Even people who seem to be magically handed success out of the blue, when they look back they see why they were ready. The whole "starlet discovered at a lunch counter" thing is fantasy. That was Lana Turner and many accounts classify it as Hollywood myth. But even if it's true, she wasn't wearing ratty pedal pushers, a stained t-shirt and an eye patch that day. She wasn't too shy to talk to whomever approached or too much of a beyotch to even acknowledge his presence. She was prepared for the opportunity being handed out that day. 

Putting all of this together with yesterday's entry, it seems like this week might be about some of those tough choices you have to make to have the life you want. You can't overspend your way to wealth and you can't sleepwalk your way to success. If there's something you want, carry it within you like a baby. Nurture it. Feed it. Walk along its path. And have the patience to wait until the right opportunity comes for it to burst forth into your world.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

12/19/11—Desiring In Line With Your Income

Today's Draw: Ten of Pentacles from the Crystal Visions Tarot. Do you lust after Pottery Barn furniture, 3-D TVs and expensive real estate? What do you think those things would say about you that you can't say now? Are your desires in line with your income?

The Ten of Pentacles is a card of security and prosperity. Some people feel secure and prosperous, even if they're just scraping by. And some never feel it, no matter how much wealth they may accrue.

I was one of six kids and my dad was in the military. Sometimes my mother worked and sometimes she didn't. Nonetheless, my parents put six kids through college. Looking back as an adult, I'm sure it wasn't easy. We must have been going down to the last dime most months. I know they didn't accrue debt, either, because my mother paid her credit cards off every month. 

I have no idea how they did it. But I do know there was never a vibe of lack in our household.  I grew up thinking I could have anything I asked for, primarily because I can't remember ever asking for anything I didn't get. There were new clothes for each school year, nice houses, occasional dinners'd have thought my parents were only supporting two kids, not six.

Now, I say that I got everything I asked for, but I'll admit, I wasn't asking for ponies or anything like that. My desires were well in line with their income. Which, I think, is a huge piece of the puzzle. 

The author's entry for this card says that the deer does not fear the wolf who is sitting in the tree, because the deer knows that everyone is right where they're supposed to be. The wolf is satisfied where he is.

Many people cause their own suffering because they place their desires out of line with their income or think they should be somewhere other than they are. Heck, as far as I'm concerned, our whole recession came about from people putting their desires out of line with their incomes and the banks were all too willing to participate. 

The suffering comes not just from being in debt, but from a mentality that equates acquisition with worthiness...a misguided thought that we are what we own. And I can't claim innocence. I'm totally that way with my tarot collection. It's beyond "reasonable". Fortunately, though, that's pretty much where it stops for me. And it's in line with my income. Given the choice between my tarot collecting and a 3-D TV, trip to Arizona, a pricey sofa from or bigger car payments on a bigger car, and I'll pick the tarot. Every time. It may not make sense to most people, but those other things make no sense to me.

Where the suffering creates more trouble is with those who don't think they have to choose. They work hard, so they should get it all. Or the neighbors have it, so they should have it, too. But that's the thing. You can't compare what you have to what others have, because you have no idea what trade-offs they're making. Or what debt they're accruing. And if you're accruing debt, then unfortunately, you DO have to choose. Or you'll be left without choices.

Coming back around to the topic we started with, we're much better off finding a way to be happy with the things we have. I LOVE my adorable little house in the working class neighborhood and will only leave it if I move out of the area or hit bad times. My car is seven years old and I will own it until it no longer runs. My last TV was 20 when it died, so I got a "new" one a couple of years ago. And it was a cheap one that works great. I honestly don't understand why I would need more or different. 

If you don't have a practical, legitimate reason why you need more or different than what you have now, you may want to consider why you want it so much. And if you think you're supposed to be in a better position than you are, explore the many facets of that question, too. Finding a healthy way to fill that part of you that craves the next great thing or thinks worth is defined by the appearance of wealth, is not only cheaper, it's more satisfying. Something for us all (myself included) to consider as we craft our resolutions for the new year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

12/17/11-12/18/11—Surveying Your Domain

Weekend Reading: The Empress from the fabulous Maroon Tarot. Take a moment this weekend to really look at what you've built and nurtured in your life. For the time being, set aside what you're missing, what you wish you had and what you still have to accomplish. Just focus on what you've built. And stand in the satisfaction and gratitude of just that. Unconditionally. Because that is enough. It's more than most people have in the world. We spend so much time chasing after "more" that we never take the time to appreciate what is in front of our nose. Be proud of what you've built. Honor it. Appreciate it. And see where it's enough.

A Holiday Message to My Readers

"The unexamined life is not worth living."

Thank you to all the people who have the courage to comment on my daily posts and reveal their stories to others. It makes us all feel more normal.

Thank you to all who read and consider those posts but don't comment for whatever reason. It takes courage to look within.

Thank you to those who peek occasionally to see what's being said. Your curiosity says you're on the path. 

And thank you especially to those who are willing to read, even if I don't use the names God and Jesus. It says you're willing to put semantics aside and focus on the message. That's the kind of openness that will change the world.

I didn't want the season to go by without saying this. Cheers to a brilliant holiday season!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12/16/11—Wrapping Gifts in Resentment

Today's Draw: Two of Pentacles from the Infinite Visions. Do you find yourself giving more than you get? Do you give time, energy and presents, even when it makes you bitter? What emotion will you be wrapping your gifts in this year?

The Two of Pentacles is about balance in earthly matters. We had this exact same card from the same deck back on May 18th and we talked about earning what you're worth. But tonight it brings up something different for me—having balanced and equitable relationships. 

To be clear, I'm not talking about taking out some yardstick in your relationships and making sure everything's even. Life doesn't work like that. But I'm talking about putting some consideration into people who tend to take more than give in the relationship. Sometimes it's a friend who doesn't think of anything that exists beyond the tip of their nose. Sometimes it's someone who only pops into your life when they need something. And sometimes it's about someone who just sucks the energy out of you. 

In the past, when I've felt used or whatever, I've moved on from the relationship. That was easier than looking at what role I played in attracting them to me in the first place. Once I started taking some responsibility for those relationships, I found other giving only when I really meant it or getting together only when I had the energy to give. 

Many times we'll give because we want to be liked or because we want others to give back. We'll listen because we think we have to. And in doing so, we're kind of poisoning the gift. Because we're not giving it for the right reasons. Then when we don't get what we expect in return, we'll follow the gift with ill thoughts. So before and after, we're wrapping gifts in resentment. This is just as true of physical gifts, like presents, as it is the gifts of our time and attention.

Beyond person-to-person relationships, there's also our personal relationship with the higher power we need to consider. Of course the universe is infinitely funded with energy and patience and whatnot, but is it possible you're receiving a little more than you're giving back to God and universe?

Anyway, this entry is really just about considering these things, not that you have to do anything about them. But consider the relationships in your life—whether they're personal, professional or with your higher power. Do you give too much or take too much? And are you taking responsibility for your role in the dynamic? With the holidays upon us, it may be a good time to make sure we're wrapping our gifts in love and not resentment.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12/15/11—Moving Forward Despite Obstacles

Today's Draw: King of Swords from the Pathfinder's Tarot. What obstacles stand between you and your goals/dreams? Are they real obstacles or just excuses? And even if they are real obstacles, how can you circumvent them?

The King of Swords represents a man whose determination moves him forward despite obstacles. All this week we've been talking about the fears we hold and he comes to tell us to just move past them, fercryinoutloud.

Sometimes there are definite obstacles that exist in our life. But most of the time, our obstacles are just excuses. One of my favorites to use is "what I really need to do first is lose weight. THEN I can go on Oprah." Another I like to use is "I could afford to do that if I didn't have to spend all my money on tarot." Then there's, "I'm a single mother of two dogs! Who has the time?!"

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, in reality, the only things that stand between me and my dreams are motivation and resolve. I mean, it's not like I'm missing limbs or fresh off a lobotomy. A couple of weeks back I had a client deadline and woke to a freak cramp or arthritis or something in my hand. I couldn't pick up a fork without it being painful. But I wrote for like 12 hours that day. Because I had a deadline and was being paid by the hour. But if I were writing for my dream? I probably would have taken the day off and cursed the fates for putting pain in my hand at such a critical time.

It's not that I don't want to be a spiritual/motivational writer of the Dr. Wayne Dyer ilk. It's that making that leap is scary. It will change my life. I won't be able to cling safely to my home. Instead, I'll have to travel places and be gracious and junk. I won't be able to hunker deep within my depths and avoid others at all costs. They'll expect me to, like, be motivational and stuff. I'll no longer be so anonymous. I'm going to have to risk failure. And, perhaps more scary, I'm going to have risk success.

But the King of Swords rides a Honey Badger. He don't give a shit. He's a badass. He just keeps on moving forward.

The truth is, there are very few excuses or obstacles that hold water once you put them under the microscope. You may not be able to perform on So You Think You Can Dance from inside a jail cell, but you can still break dance. You may not be able to afford your own plane, but you can take flying lessons. Or barter for access to a plane. Or something like that. Whenever we say we don't have enough money or time, what we're really saying it we don't enough creativity to think up another way and enough determination to make it work. It just sounds better to say we don't have the time or money. That way we don't have to do anything about it.

So what are your obstacles and excuses? Post them here, along with what you want to accomplish, and we'll see what people can come up with to help you find your way around them. If you're not afraid, that is. ;)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12/14/11—Becoming a Healer

Today's Draw: The Ace of Stones (Cups) from the Shaman Tarot. Do you consider yourself a healer? Do you act in accordance with that belief? And do you think it's possible to set off a ripple effect of healing that travels the world without even getting your arse up off the sofa?

A shaman is an intermediary between the spirit world and this world. And their role is as a healer...a spiritual, emotional or physical healer. Back in cave times, this would be the most honored person in the clan—the one who could heal maladies with herbs, become privy to divine information and facilitate rituals to appease spirits. Even today shamans are used to travel into the otherworlds to retrieve parts of a person's soul that may have been shattered or lost.

One of the tools a shaman might use in their healing is crystals. Crystals can play a number of roles in healing. They can be used to amplify the energetic healing of the shaman. They can be used to absorb ills. They can be uses to bring certain energies into a healing session or to balance energies. And they can also be used for their energy in aiding the journeying work a shaman does.

So the Ace of Stones is a card of healing. The sparse little white book that comes with the deck says three things: "The secret of healing. Profound understanding of one's own being. Love." 

Writer that I am, I might edit those three sentences into one that reads, "The secret of healing is a profound understanding of one's own being, coupled with love."

We are all capable of healing ourselves and others. The more we understand ourselves, the more we see how much we're all alike. All of us have within us the capability to love or hate, kill or nurture, stumble or glide. The better we know ourselves—and the more we fill our hearts with the divine love of our spirit selves—the better we're able to see how thin the line is between us and someone who is reviled or judged crazy or unsavory. If I didn't take crappy photos of cards, you'd be able to see how divine light washes over the crystal, driving ghosts and demons out. This is what we can do for others with even the simplest of human kindnesses.

When we see others as profoundly different from us, we're seeing through eyes of fear. When we see others as we see ourselves, we see through eyes of love. It's that simple. I can feel some of you resisting that statement right now. But it is an essential truth to unleashing the potential of our healing nature. 

Usually by Wednesday every week a little mini-theme emerges in these entries. So fear is this week's theme. We've seen how it can hold us back and how it screws with our priorities. And now we're seeing how it cripples mankind's ability to love and heal. Fear is repellent. It drives us apart as a society, not brings us together.

I'll let you in on a little secret even though it reveals something I'm maybe not 100% proud of.  I write these blogs every day, partly to hone my inspirational writing chops, but mostly to help heal myself and others. I feel my mission in life is to heal people with my words and thoughts. But I couldn't have written this blog three years ago or ten years ago, because I would have quickly gotten bitter, thinking no one appreciated me...*fearing* no one appreciated me. I would have been writing it for the feedback, rather than for the inner journey.

Now, that said, I receive positive reinforcement every day on my Facebook page and there are great discussions there about my posts—so many wise people. But if I were in this to become popular or admired or whatever, I wouldn't still be doing it after a year and a half.

The reason I can devote so much time and energy to it without it draining me now, is because I like me more than I did back then. And while I like that you like me, it's not a condition of what I do here. My fuel for this comes from within and regenerates from within. And the reason I like me more is because I understand myself more...and not just understand myself more, but understand myself in the context of humanity more. And I'm honest with me more, without allowing that to cause wounds that hold me back. That right there is what has opened up the channel for me to start to heal myself and others in a meaningful way. And it's new, so I know I still have so much to learn.

We are ALL capable of this. We're taught to believe that one person living a humble little existence can't make much of an impact on the world. But we can. We just need to love and understand ourselves enough to love and understand humanity. And animals. And nature. And the universe. 

If you're reading these words right now, you're on the course. You're reading and thinking about these entries to know and understand yourself and humanity better. So understand that just that alone makes you a healer, too. Because there's always someone along your path that could use some of your insight. And knowing that you're a healer, with all the responsibilities that comes with that, will help you reach out for the right reasons. Which will help you make a bigger impact. Which will cause a ripple effect. And your one act of healing and kindness will have traveled the world. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

12/13/11—Calculating Your Risks

Today's Draw: The Child from the Christmas Tarot by Corrine Kenner. Realistically speaking, what's your worst case scenario? What do you REALLY have to lose if you make a change? And what do you stand to lose if you don't?

The Christmas Tarot is a major's only deck. I purchased the file online and printed out the cards myself. This deck is now "out of print" in that you can no longer buy the files, but by next Christmas you'll be able to buy a full 78-card version wherever you buy tarot cards. Anyway, Corrine made this deck from images from Victorian cards and, as you can see from this one, the images she chose are tarotriffic, right down to the Fool's dog. 

That's who The Child is, by the way—The Fool in a normal tarot deck. He's called The Fool, not because he is stupid, but because he's innocent. He hasn't been taught to fear yet. He's not cognizant of loss. So he sets out on adventures with all the enthusiasm and blind faith of a child. He's the main character in the story of the tarot. And no matter how many times the tarot story is told, he always makes it out alive. 

Remember when you were a kid? Assuming you didn't come from an abusive environment, there really wasn't much to fear. Yet all the same dangers existed in your world that exist today. It's not like the world was a better place. There was a senseless war going on. There were weapons of mass destruction constantly aimed at our cities. There was a recession. There were bad guys on every corner. It really wasn't much different 40-50 years ago. Maybe today's war isn't as draining on the country's energy. Maybe today's recession is more serious. Maybe we're in more of threat of chemical weapons than missiles. But the same "unknown" was there to fear. 

Yet, when we were kids, we didn't carry that fear. Our parents could have ended up homeless. We could have ended up in a war torn world. But we didn't carry the fear. The unknown was just another place to explore. 

So when did we start fearing? When we started having something to lose. An apartment. A job. Stuff. A relationship. A baby. And what have those fears accomplished? Well they keep us from making really stupid moves. And, um....hmmm....well....they um....

Exactly. They don't accomplish much. Except maybe making it hard for us to distinguish insecurity-born fear from danger-born fear. Fear is an *instinct* we have to keep us from being eaten by saber toothed tigers in the wild. And somehow it's become our most powerful *emotion* making us think and rethink everything 500 times before we move forward in our lives. Yet we somehow managed to survive the fearlessness of our youth...the jumping out of trees, the taking of all manner of drugs, the driving too fast, the falling in love over and over again...the acting without thinking. 

It's not like the fear is what's keeping us safe. Being safe makes us safe. And the funny thing is that choosing "safe" over facing our fears usually lands us closer to our worst case scenario than facing our fears does. Part of that is because we're the world's worst "worst case scenario" assessors. 

I've been doing a lot of readings lately for people who want to change careers or make change at work. While their fears tell them the worst case scenario is utter ruination and eating from trash cans, the realistic take is that the worst thing is usually that they'll have to get another job like the one they have now. Or they'll have to go on unemployment and get a roommate. So, people who are so miserable they're envisioning apocalyptic worst case scenarios are usually either living their worst case scenario or are just a step or two away from it. Certainly, spiritually speaking, they are already living it if they're living in a mindset of fear and defeat. And one worst case scenario we never consider when we're weighing options is how our lives will pan out if we DON'T take the risk...what our regrets will be, how we'll feel about ourselves, what our opportunities will be. 

In essence, we approach fear in the same way the child approaches risk...we dive right into it without question of consequence. So the next time you can't move forward because you're frozen by fear, you gotta ask yourself, "who's the real Fool?" The person who unquestionably accepts fear and the status quo? Or the one who unquestionably accepts risk and adventure?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

12/12/11—Yearning for Days of Yore

Today's Draw Special Edition: The rune Ansuz. What do you think of the way our values have shifted since ancient times? Do you ever wish your life were simpler, sparser? Or do you think we're living our best lives right now?

I saw my new sack of runes staring at me from across the room and decided to off road again today. Runes are one of the oldest divination methods. There are 24 runes in a set. And what a rune is, usually, is a piece of wood or stone with a symbol drawn on it. The symbols are an ancient alphabet, but frequently used in magic from around 150 AD on. One of my hunky male tarot buddies made the set I used today. He made them from a branch that fell on his property and he burned the symbols into the wood. With his bare hands. *swoon*

Ansuz is the rune of Odin, one of the major Gods of Norse mythology. Odin was a god of war, the hunt, poetry, wisdom, magic and prophesy. An odd set of things to be in charge of. Or is it?

In a way, these ancient forms of divination give us a look back at life nearly 2000 years ago. Back then, being a warrior, hunter, poet, shaman or prophet put you at the apex of society. Today, those same positions net you middle class, at best. It wasn't that those people held all the money back in those days, they just held influence and prestige. Try telling someone you're a poet, hunter or shaman for a living today and see how impressed people are.

But look at what these people are offering. They're offering the basic needs of life—food, safety, culture, healing and advice. How come we value businessmen, lawyers and athletes so much more these days? I'll tell you one thing, Armageddon hits and you won't see me running to partner up with Donald Trump for survival. I'll be grabbing myself a hunter or shaman (maybe not a poet, though). 

Anyway, it's interesting how our values have turned from comfort and survival to capitalism and bling. Even homeless people have cell phones and computers these days. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but when did electronics supercede shelter as a basic human need? Certainly cell phones are a safety thing. I'm not arguing that. It's not like there are pay phones anywhere anymore. But doesn't something seem weird about that picture to you? Doesn't something seem totally off overall in our worlds, where we amass stuff to keep our stuff company, and stuff it all into rooms full of stuff?

Odin traveled light. All he really needed was instinct and intellect. Can't buy a cup of Starbucks for that these days, though. Before I wander off into the "when I was a girl, we walked two miles to school each day. Barefoot. In the snow." speech, let's just break it down to this. What is REALLY important to you? 

Most people, if their house were burning down, would go for the photos. So, on top of the basics—food, shelter, water, it's memories of loving moments. Most people given a choice between losing all their money and losing a loved one, would choose to keep the loved one. So, really, what do we do all this for? For the Lexus? For the nice neighborhood? For the electronics?

I'm really the last person who should be making this argument. Though I own nothing you could call luxury or a status symbol, I have a comfortable life filled with all the tarot decks I can fit into my home. And while I have one of those undesirable houses that produces more equity than debt, I've nonetheless got a room stuffed full of stuff to keep my closets full of stuff happy. 

But every once in a while, something comes close to waking me up and showing me how far I've wandered from the freedom and ideals I'd rather have. I would like to be much closer to nature than modern life supports, for example. I'm fascinated with the Tiny House trend. And I would love to live a simpler, more mystical (dare I say hippie-inspired?) life. But I've become a junkie. A capitalist junkie, jonesing for my next hit from the world of retail. And I don't know if I know how to live any other way right now. How about you?

Friday, December 9, 2011

12/10/11-12/11/11—Trusting the Horse Knows The Way

Weekend Reading: Knight of Wands from the Pearls of Wisdom. By the time this weekend arrives, your journey will have begun. If you don't yet know what that journey is, let the flow of life jump in and take you away. The mission will be revealed soon enough. And you will possess both the energy and fire to pursue it. The knight is driven by passion and fueled by his ideals. The runes on this card suggest he is spiritual warrior with the strength of an ox. So if you have any self-doubt, let go of it. Even if you feel lost or like you've taken a wrong turn, your horse knows the way! Let him do all the work.

12/9/11—Showing Compassion, Regardless

Today's Draw Special Edition, Part Deux: The Fly at the Window from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. Do you think compassion is only for the deserving? Who judges what is deserving and what's not? And can you slip into another's streams without getting lost?
Gah! Yesterday I told you I'd do part two of this entry for tomorrow (Saturday), but that is usually the day I do the weekend reading. So guess what? You get a bonus Friday entry!

Yesterday we talked about slipping into the stream of spirit, where you connect with the divine intelligence and allow it to guide you. It sounds like something you'd have to study for years to do, but it's really as simple as just stopping the struggle against the flow of your life. Somewhere along the line we were taught that we have to control everything in our worlds and it's just not true. We just have to make steps toward what we want and let the universe do the rest—AND trust in the wisdom of whatever that brings. So that's what "getting in the flow" or "entering the stream" is all about. 
The reason I split this into two entries is the beautiful way the author defined compassion. He says it's "entering the stream of another without getting lost." How amazing is that? Entering into the stream of another without getting lost. 

There are many who think compassion is only for the "deserving". And someone, somewhere along line distinguishes "deserving" from "undeserving", I suppose. But compassion is for everyone. I've been criticized many times in my life for having compassion for "undeserving" people. In a conflict between two sides, for example, I'll be able to see the pain of both sides and have compassion for both. 
People always say they don't expect you to pick sides. But they do. And the side you're supposed to pick is the one deemed more deserving. Compassion should flow only to that side. And if compassion flows to the other, as well, you're a traitor, playing both sides or sitting on the fence. Well, I'm OK with being criticized for thinking that's a big, stinky load of bullshit. Everyone is equally deserving of compassion. We are all children of spirit. We all have pain. We all feel misunderstood. We are all. Worthy. Of compassion. 
When Mark Nepo says compassion is slipping into another's stream without getting lost, that's the same as saying "feel compassion, but don't bend who you are while doing so". Sometimes I see people willfully hurting others in the act of what they call compassion for another...using compassion for one as an excuse to be nasty to another. That's getting lost in another's stream. Unless, of course, being nasty is part of your stream. My guess is it's not. 

There have been a number of times in my life that I've lost friends because I've maintained an integrity—a loyalty—to what I believe. Like it's not nice to be mean to others, under any circumstance. Or you shouldn't tell secrets you've promised to keep. Or you shouldn't tell lies just to save your ass. I can't say I've never done any of those things. We probably all have. When I do that, believing as I do, I lose my integrity. And anyone who would ask or expect me to lose my integrity for them isn't a friend. 

Compassion is not something you have to prove to others. It's not saying "I approve of your actions." Nor is it a weapon you wield by witholding. It's something that comes from the soul part of you. The part of you that recognizes that even those who are considered "evil" are of God and suffering from their separation. It's the part of you that sees their pain and sorrow, even when it's hard to find. And the part wise enough to acknowledge the thin line that separates "good" from "bad" and sane from crazy, and feels bad for someone who can't keep from crossing over that line. Even if we can't empathize or know how they're feeling based on personal experience, we can nonetheless, genuinely say "I'm sorry you're in such pain right now". Regardless of what we think of them as a human being.

We slip into someone's stream without losing ourselves. And I'd go so far as to say that neglecting to find compassion for another *is* losing ourselves. It's losing sight of our common soul, the human struggle and the oneness we share as children of God and the universe. It's saying we're in a position to judge.
So if anyone out there ever wonders where I stand when it comes down to choosing sides, that's where I stand. I may agree with one side more than another. But I have compassion for both sides and will demonstrate compassion for both sides. And I will act in integrity with the way I believe about moving through this world. And if that makes me disloyal in your eyes, I'll take it. Because being any other way is being disloyal to myself.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

12/9/11—Hoping for the Breath of Something Incomprehensible

Today's Draw Special Edition, Part 1: The Fly at the Window from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. Have you ever prayed for one thing and gotten something different in response? Did you act like the-child-who-didn't-get-the-pony-they-wanted-for-Christmas about it? Are you hoping for the breath of something incomprehensible to show up in your life? 

OK. Today and tomorrow we're doing something completely different here at The Daily Draw. It's called bibliomancy. As many of you may know, tarot is only one tool in a psychic's bag of tricks. Bibliomancy is one of the many other options. And what bibliomancy means is opening a book—any book—to a random page with a question or intention in mind and getting a spiritual or psychic message from what you see on that page. 

Using something from The Book of Awakening is a little like cheating, because it's a book of spiritual lessons. So finding the wisdom on the page isn't hard. It came highly recommended from my good friend Oprah. As usual, though, I'll be putting my own imprint on what I found in the book. And what I found in that one entry is good enough for two entries here (what a value!), so I'm going to do another from this chapter tomorrow.

Basically, I just thumbed through the book and intuitively stopped on the October 1 entry in the book, titled "The Fly at the Window". This entry talks about how the antidote to fear and struggle is faith. We've talked about that a million times here, but there are a couple of interesting nuances in this entry. 

He defines faith as the willingness and courage to enter into the stream of what is. And in the moment we release ego and control and accept surrender, we and the stream are one. The energy of that sacred moment and God are the same. And our experience of it is grace.

Here is a snippet from his entry that captures the feeling of our struggle against surrender perfectly: 

"I remember one summer I was at the window when a fly near the latch was on its back spinning, legs furious, going nowhere. I thought to swat it, but something in its struggle was too much my own. It kept spinning and began to tire. Without moving closer, I exhaled steadily, my breath a sudden wind, and the fly found its legs, rubbed its face and flew away. I continued to stare at the latch hoping that someday, the breath of something incomprehensible would right me and enable me to fly."

Here's the thing: The "breath of something incomprehensible" can be as big as a life-threatening illness or as little as the exhale it took to right the fly. Just as you can relax your muscles by laying back, exhaling and letting go, you can relax your struggle against the wisdom and guidance of your higher power. Just by exhaling and going limp.

We move through life so certain we know better than our higher power when it comes to our lives. We count on its wisdom and power when we ask for something, then question it when they respond.

It's like the child who bemoans the fact they didn't get a pony so much that they neglect the hermit crab they *do* get. The child is not able to see the wisdom in learning how to care for a crab before it can care for a pony. And in fighting against the wisdom of the crab, they never lay the groundwork needed to own a pony.

Just as that child refuses to trust the wisdom of their parents, we don't trust the wisdom of our source. So we fight against what we're given, making it difficult for the source to move us toward what we say we want.

We've all heard this before. Sometimes it takes different words for us to get it, though. 

Surrender. Let go. Trust. And be the breath of something incomprehensible in your life.

COMING UP IN PART II: The connection between surrender and compassion.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12/8/11—Remaining True to Your Vision

Today's Draw: The Hermit from the Pathfinder's Tarot. Are you having a hard time finding the path you want to walk these days? How do you think you lost sight of it? And what were YOUR Rite Aid bonus savings this month?

I was so excited to receive this deck in the mail that I didn't even wait for the book to arrive to do today's reading. You can't see it in the picture, but this deck uses gold metallic ink in very strategic ways. I'm a bit of a snob about that. I don't like metallic for metallic's sake, but if you use it wisely to enhance the art and meaning, I'm all about it. And I prefer the ink to the foil. Anyone who's ever seen a Bohemian Gothic Silver will know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. 

Now that I'm done boring all the non-tarot peeps, I will say The Hermit is the solitary seeker, the one who sets out on a path for wisdom and enlightenment. It's a card of introspection and understanding. And it's also a card for someone who just wants to be alone. 

To me, this Hermit feels like he's walking against the wind, hunched over to find his path through the darkness. I kind of feel that way myself these days. I'm in a situation right now where I've been hired by someone who has informed me that it doesn't matter what I write, they will be rewriting it. Because it's their "thing".

I'm not really taking that part of it personally, though it does show disregard for what a professional writer brings to the table. The person who said that isn't a writer themselves, nor do they claim to know anything about marketing. While I can deal with that, there are some other aspects of this situation that have pushed my buttons more. Add to that, I've been really stressed out by deadlines the past couple of days and my hand's been hurting and I've been typing for 10-12 hours straight each day. So I'm not in my spirit right now. And to top it all off, as I was writing this, my Rite Aid bonus card savings statement arrived in my email telling me the average customer saved $25.00 last month. And I saved $0.00. Even Rite Aid is saying I'm performing BELOW AVERAGE!!! Gah!

I don't really feel that. I'm just a bit..uninspired and sucked clean of my energy. But as I was sitting here, all introspective-like, wondering how and why I got myself in a situation that feels so no-win, a lightbulb went off. See, you've probably read before about how I have the world's best clients who shower me with praise and appreciation. I'm not being facetious. It's true. And it's due to some standards I've set for my business (namely only working for people who think I'm the bomb...haha.) But it occurred to me that this project is one I might not normally have said yes to, but did anyway. 

So the path I'm all hunched over to see in the dim light was lost way back when I said yes to something I didn't feel good about. Any loss of pride or integrity of vision I'm "suffering" isn't coming at the hands of someone else. It's all on me. (For the curious, I said yes before the conversation about rewriting occurred.)

Look, I'm being overly dramatic here. My situation is far from dire. I'm making a good earning doing solid work for decent people. I'm not losing anything here but my patience and some pride. For many people, that wouldn't be "nothin' but a thang". For me, though, it equates to a sizeable portion of why I do what do. 

See, I recently had the sheer pleasure of interviewing a bunch of executives about what their mission was in life. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to hear people light up in passion and realize the job they're doing right this minute is on course with their life's mission. It was also really cool guiding some of them through the process. Some people have never thought about it before and I got to give them that gift.

It makes me all weepy thinking about it even now. Because my vision includes moving people with my words. It's why I do these entries every day. It's why I work in advertising. It's why I read tarot. And it's why I want to write spiritual books. I think the older I get and the further down that path I travel, the less willing I am to share that with those who can't appreciate my craft. Look, I've been a professional writer for 25 years. I'm not whining about people making edits. This is about people not even caring whether what I write is good or not...they just want to rewrite it.

What I'm learning here is that it takes a lot of energy and spirit out of you to bend your mission and vision to accommodate others. More energy than it takes to say no or uphold your integrity of vision. I won't be letting these people down. I'll give my best as I always do, all the way to the end. Regardless of what they do with it. Because that's part of who I am, too. Even if it sucks the life out of me, I'll find the energy to do my best...haha.

This is a lesson I've learned many times before, but it snuck up on me. This is the surprise attack I warned you all about back in my 12/2 entry. It's just a toe over the line, compared to the lessons that started defining this part of my vision back in the day. The good news is I think I've finally got it this time.