Friday, July 15, 2011

7/16/11-7/17/11—Having Enough to Spare

Weekend Reading: Six of Clubs from TaRat. Good news! You've got what you need AND you have some to spare. That's a good position to be in. Show gratitude for your abundance. Share your abundance. And respect it—don't let it go to waste. Remember that your thoughts and actions create your reality. So fear of loss breeds more loss to fear. And celebration of wealth creates more wealth to celebrate. This works in all areas of life. Not just finances. If you worry about losing what you have, you'll probably lose what you have. But if you move forward with the confidence that, no matter what happens, your nest will always be remain full, then that will happen, too. Use your thoughts to create a yummy kind of magic in your life. And don't forget to sprinkle your bounty with some extra mojo in the form of good, old-fashioned gratitude.

7/15/11—Compromising our Happiness

Today's Draw: Compromise (6 of Rainbows) from the Osho Zen. Are you friendly to compromise when it comes to the things you want? Do you think men and women think differently when it comes to compromise?

This is a very interesting card to choose for the final day this week, because I think it fits in perfectly with what we've been talking about all week. The card is called Compromise, but it's lesson is that we shouldn't compromise our own truth.

I read a book once about the difference between men and women in the corporate world. It talked about how little girl's play centers around cooperation, compromise and games where everyone can win. And little boy's play focuses on competition and winning. The book was all about how men have the edge because they already know how to play the game and, while women play nice and cooperate, that's not necessarily how you get ahead in a male-dominated corporate world. 

This same premise also applies to the game of life, but in a different way. Men, to a certain degree, but women especially, are in the habit of asking for less than they want because of this whole compromise thing. We think we're being nice. Or reasonable. Or even realistic about what we can expect. In this way, we dream too small. We expect the universe to read our minds and know to give us y when we're asking for x. Or, and I think this is equally true of men and women, in some way or another, we don't feel we rate getting any sort of super-sized dream. Or we're afraid of what we might have to "give up" in order to get what we want. Or we do what we think will make others happy. And through insecurity or compromise or whatever, we end up drawing the wrong dream to us. Then end up unhappy with what we've got. 

Our dreams are just one area in which we might compromise our inner truth. Any time we make a decision or choice that is not in line with our truth—and any time we only go halfway—we lose. We tell ourselves that "less than" is enough. This is what the Compromise card comes to tell us.

Looking at all the cards this week, it reads like a primer for making big changes in your life. Trust that the universe has your back. Be honest with yourself and others. Take the time and care it requires to build something of value on a firm foundation. Realize you are no longer the same person you were when you first tried to change or began contemplating change. Each day you're more prepared. And, finally, don't compromise.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

7/14/11—Starting Over Fresh

Today's Draw: Judgment from the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn. What deserves a jazzy sendoff in your life? How are you being reborn? And are you giving yourself credit for how far you've come?

The Judgment cards signals a time of summing up...adding up the efforts of our life and seeing where we stand. It's also about transformation, following a call and, ultimately, rebirth. Nothing heavy. ;) 

The book for this deck has some interesting things to say about this card. That it's a sendoff for the "you" you used to be. That the spirits are "falling" upwards, to the next great thing. And that we're all in continual cycles of creation and destruction. What may be hard to see is the varnish on this card. It's a spiral that emanates from the saxophone, reaching ever outward.

A friend recently asked me about spiral symbolism. And the way I see a spiral is as a metaphor for life. As we learn and grow, the same lessons may circle around to us time and again, but each time they circle around, we're more expanded or at a higher level, depending on how the spiral is drawn. Sooner or later, the lesson circles back around and is so far from our radar that it doesn't even register. And we're healed. 

The past couple of weeks have presented a number of spiral moments and opportunities for summing up. I have to say, when these things happen, my first response is always "I thought I had moved past this! Why is this coming around again?" It causes me consternation. But this card takes a very Big Easy approach to these give them a big, raucous jazz sendoff. 

I've had some buttons pushed, but the thing is, I'M the one who decides if the button gets pushed or not. I know enough by now to know that the things other people do and say reflect more on them than me. I don't have to worry that old outcomes will come around again because, hey, I'm no longer the person I was any of the times this same lesson came around in the past. So it's time to give that more vulnerable, impressionable and gullible me a sendoff. 

This has a lot of application to yesterday's card. So if you didn't read that, you might want to. But there's also an interesting side note to the card that also applies to yesterday's card. The book says to dance and jam while you can, because it's over before you know it. But the music plays on. And if you've played the music well enough, there will be someone there to pick up where you left off. So if you have a life's work and are worried about having enough time...or if there's something you want to start, but feel it's too late...consider that. There's someone to pick it up where you leave off. Anything you begin has value, because the spiral keeps spinning whether we're here or not.

7/13/11—Putting In Your Time

Today's Draw: Eight of Nature from the Tarot of the Origins. What have you always wanted that you've never managed to get? Why do you think you don't have it? And what would you be willing to do to get it?

The Eight of Nature equates to the Eight of Wands. In the Tarot of the Origins, the Eight of Wands speaks of the spirit of trees and slowness. 

Many believe the largest organism on earth is a tree. Not a Redwood or a Sequoia, but an Aspen. See, what seems to be an entire grove of Aspens is really just one organism, derived from the same original seedling, with new shoots/trees popping up over time. A single tree in the colony may live up to 150 years. But the root system...the colony thought to live tens of thousands of years. The largest of the Aspens, named Pando, is located in Utah, covers over 100 acres and weighs 6000 tons. It's rumored be anywhere from 80,000 to a million years old. To put that in perspective, homo sapiens existed only in Africa 80,000 years ago. And that Aspen is AT LEAST 80,000 years old. It beat man to Utah by at least 30,000 years.

The Aspen teaches us that building something big, strong and enduring takes time. The amenities of our modern world have done us a disservice in that they condition us to expect immediate results. They make us impatient. And so when we try to build a career or a relationship or change in life, we decide that we've "failed" or that "it's not working" before we've given it a fair chance. Of course, giving something a fair chance shouldn't be confused with sticking with a losing proposition until it drags you into the ground. But our dreams, the things we hunger for, deserve to be built slowly on a foundation as firm as the Aspen's. 

Every once in a while I'll come across someone who spends their life in regret because they tried many things and failed each time. Or I'll meet someone who is looking for a quick answer in their life. Or someone will look at my cushy job and say they wish they could do what I do. But if they were honest, all those people would really be saying, "I'm not willing to do what it takes to have that thing I want." 

I remember in the early years of my career I was an administrative person in the creative department of an advertising agency, helping the copywriters I wanted to be.... for three years. Then I worked in horrific retail jobs writing headlines like "SALE 29.99 No-Iron Slacks" for four years. Then I finally got a job doing what I wanted to do in an advertising agency. Over the first 10 years of my career I cultivated contacts and a portfolio, ultimately going into business myself. The difference between me and all the other people who wanted to do what I wanted to do but never made it, is that I never gave up. Many writers had much easier paths than I did. I didn't get those breaks. In many cases, I just wasn't as talented as they were, frankly. But I never gave up. I wanted it that much.

The difference between you and the people who have what you want is that they were willing to do something you're not willing to do to get it. Sometimes that means taking a lower paying job. Putting up with awful working conditions. Working for years without advancement. Making sacrifices of time, family, relationships or other things of value. Or simply putting in your time and paying your dues. 

Anytime I see myself looking over the fence at someone with a more sparkling career or relationship or whatever, I can't bring myself to be jealous. I can't tell myself that they're just lucky or they had different opportunities or anything like that. Because the truth is that they were willing to do what it took to get it. And so far I haven't been. We really can't blame our regrets about things like this on anything other than ourselves, imo. I know that sounds harsh, but it was seven years before I got the job I went into business to get. Seven very poorly paid years working way below my capability and talent level. It never once occurred to me to give up. 

The good news is that, if you're reading this, you're probably not too old to go after that thing you still want. I'm going after a new dream and I'm 48. I know it will take years to build. I'm willing to put in that time and make that effort. But this isn't just about careers. I've been working on my psychic development for 25 years. Same with my spiritual development and personal growth. I'm still working on all that and will be until the day I die, because I want to be the best, most authentic person I can be. I want to do my soul proud. 

On the other side of the fence, I had someone recently remind me that if I had put the effort into finding a gentleman companion that I put into the five million little side projects that I always have going on in my life, I'd also have a successful love life. If I focused on weight loss the way I focus on these blogs every day, I'd be four sizes smaller. If I put the effort into caring for my home that I put into Facebook, I'd have a spotless home. But I don't. And there's nothing to blame outside of myself for that. I accept that.

Although you wouldn't know it by looking at an individual shoot, its leaves quaking vulnerably in the wind, the Aspen puts out a complex network of roots and shoots, breaking ground here and there until one day it's the largest, most enduring single organism on the planet. This is how we build anything worth having, imo. So if you have what you want in life—whether it's your family, your friends, your self development or your career—recognize all the work it took to build and be proud of that. And if you're still working toward something truly worth having, persist. If you're willing to do what it takes to get it, you will.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

7/12/11—Telling the Truth

Today's Draw: Queen of Swords from the Infinite Visions Tarot. What's your policy when it comes to honesty? Do you have a policy or do you just wing it? Do you believe absolute truth exists?

The Queen of Swords cuts to the heart of issues. She tells it like it is. But her sword cuts two ways. Her truths can sometimes lack temperance and heart, as she speaks mostly from her mind. 

Some people are like the Queen of Swords—honest to a fault. Some are pathological liars. Some will say whatever is needed to avoid conflict. And most of us fall somewhere in between.

I've walked my own path with this. I consider myself a pretty honest person. But I do believe there are times for honesty. I didn't used to. But I do now. You can call it "times for" honesty...or you can think of it as "degrees of" honesty. 

Over the years, I've learned that some people that ask for the truth, don't really want to hear it. I've also learned that volunteering the truth when not asked isn't a wise move. And then there are the times with certain drama queens, when told the truth, will never let you hear the end of it. For those kinds of people, life's easier when you tell as much of the truth as possible, without inflaming. 

So now my policy is this—eradicate drama queens from my sphere, along with the drama I create myself. Both those situations court dishonesty and I'm done with them as much as I can possibly be. Second, I no longer volunteer honesty to people who aren't asking for it. That's just a mistake. And, finally when people DO ask for honesty, I deliver it as kindly as possible. And if they don't like it, I don't allow myself to be manipulated to feel bad about it. Most people who know me know better than to ask for the truth if they don't want to hear it. But moreover, most people who know me are people who want to hear the truth, because that's the kind of person I like to be around. 

Now I'm not going to say I never lie. Even with a "policy", you still have gauge a situation. But you can pretty much count on me to tell the truth. Even with the really heavy stuff. IF you ask. And when a client comes to me for a reading, they're always going to get the truth. Sometimes they don't want to hear it. Sometimes they fight it. But that's what they're paying me for, imo. 

All that said, I think the truth is subjective. My truth about something may not be your truth. Even something as simple as "the sky is blue" can be argued by a colorblind person or a scientist who wants to discuss wavelengths and other things that affect the way we perceive the color of the sky. So I do think we need to consider the subjective nature of truth when it comes to assessing the honesty of others.

All told, I feel like I've always been a pretty honest person. But I believe honesty is a vehicle you need to learn to drive. You shouldn't drive it uncontrollably. You shouldn't use it as a weapon. Nor should you drive it into the ground. You have to treat it with the respect it deserves.

Monday, July 11, 2011

7/11/11—Letting the Universe Have Your Back

Today's Draw: Two of Swords from the Rohrig Tarot. Peace. Can you remember a time when what seemed to be bad luck turned into good luck? Do you think you can change situations just by your attitude? Have you ever met someone that you think was there to be an angel?

This is a great draw for me because it allows me to talk about my night and I'm just bursting to talk about my night! Tonight I went to see Krishna Das in DC. Krishna Das is one of the best-known chant singers in the world. The concert coincided with the Kalachakra for World Peace that the Dalai Lama and about a billion Rinpoche's and monks were in town for. Anyway, long story short...Richard Gere was also in town and I touched him!!!

But that's not what I'm writing about tonight. The Two of Swords is traditionally about trust, and balance and openness. The Rohrig's Two of Swords speaks of peace after a storm or battle. And those two meanings collided for me tonight. 

Prior to the concert, I met a friend for dinner in Chinatown. We're sitting there for a few minutes and it dawns on me "OMG, I forgot my ticket!". So I have a moment of panic, followed by a few more moments of distraction, then I ask my gut if they will let me in without a ticket and my gut says "yes". So we finish dinner without further distraction. And we walk around the corner to the synagogue, which is the concert venue for the evening. After a few minutes there and telling everyone my situation, someone says "those two men over there are from the synagogue". So I tell them my situation and they let me in the synagogue office. 

This is a very good thing, because Krishna Das is practicing in there. And Sharon Salzberg, who shared the bill with him, is walking around. So I'm in there with the stars of the show. And the guy who was helping me (Michael, like the angel) got me a number to call to get my tickets changed to will call. But before I finish doing that, he says to me "if they won't help you, come looking for me. KD (Krishna Das) doesn't want you to be unhappy."

So that is TERRIBLY cool. In the meantime, I have a lovely conversation with a man smoking a cigar on the steps of the synagogue office. I have no idea why he's there. He had no idea he was at a synagogue and knew nothing of the concert, outside of the line of people. But he's sitting there, smoking and, frankly, flirting with me. But there was something about him, almost...I don't know...mystical. And cigars always remind me of my father. There was something about him that said to me "he's not real...he's here for you." Very odd.

Anyway, I end up getting my ticket at will call and all is well. The people in front of me in line were fabulous...a woman and two boys who were part of a program to teach creative writing to inner-city teens who committed crimes and were jailed as adults...very interesting. Then I get to my seat and next thing you know, Richard Gere is standing by me. I shake his hand. Then a few minutes later, Surya Das comes in with a big shot Rinpoche (such a big shot that everyone is paying attention to him and not Gere) and sits next to Gere. But not even that is the story. 

The story is that I paid for an evening of meditation and transformational chant. And that's what I got. But what I didn't THINK I paid for were some amazing insights that came from the discussions KD and Sharon Salzberg were having on the stage. Between songs, they kind of rested and chatted for our enjoyment and you'd be listening to a story and then BAM! Something wise and wonderful would hit you and stir up your soul. Messages of oneness and love, brotherhood and surrender and faith. I can't count the times my eyes teared up from being touched by Grace tonight. 

There we were in this incredible sacred space—a gorgeous synagogue with stained glass windows and a huge domed ceiling—surrounded by Buddhist "luminaries". Surya Das is saying a prayer and invoking the spirit of the Dalai Lama to bless our hearts. Sharon Salzberg is leading us in meditation that was just transcendent. My friend said she had no idea where she went and I transported to snow capped mountains (like in the card) in utter peace, levitating between peaks in lotus position. And Krishna Das blissed us out through his devotional chant. 

So this evening that started with a forgotten ticket, led to trust that the universe had my back, which led a pair of "angels" that crossed my path, which led to Krishna Das having my back, which led to meeting Richard Gere, which then proceeded with an amazing evening (3 1/2 hours of singing, storytelling and meditation), which led to Grace. 

There was a time that forgotten ticket would have gotten the better of me. In fact, it would have colored my whole evening muddy and I would have been a bitternik and drama queen until everything was resolved and then some. And while it did cause a blip, it was a momentary blip. And it ended up giving me Tierney's Wild Buddhist Two of Swords Adventure featuring Trust, Surrender and Deep Peace. I couldn't have had that without forgetting those tickets...without being open to letting the universe provide. So the moral of the story is that sometimes a stupid move can end up being the best break you can get. :)