Saturday, August 20, 2011

8/20/11-8/21/11—Feeling Burned Out

Weekend Reading: Eight of Flames from Daughters of the Moon Tarot. If you're feeling over-committed, this weekend is a good time to stop and re-think your priorities. When you feel burnt out, it's time to start saying no. It's also time to start accepting any help that's offered to you. Your emotional and physical health may depend on taking a step back. This theme has come up a number of times of this week. So it's important to listen. If you're like the majority of my readers, you're not in your 20s or 30s anymore and can't run yourself into the ground the way you used to. It's time to start listening to your body and emotions and taking care of them as well as you take care of others.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

8/19/11—Caring for Yourself

Today's Draw: 10 on the Spiritual Level—Self Care—from The Game of You tarot. Is something or someone wearing you down right now? Are you the kind of person who takes care of everyone before you take care of yourself? Are you aware of the consequences of ignoring your own needs.

Sometimes the tarot has a sense of humor. Every reader will tell you. Maybe you ask a question and you don't like the answer. So you switch to another deck and ask the same question...and get the same card. Stuff like that. 

So tonight I go out with my advertising buddies and I'm stuffed full of caramelized pork, I've had a couple of pina coladas and I come home and just don't want to do this blog. And what card do I get? Self care. 

I started doing this daily draw about a year ago on Facebook. I've only had the blog since the beginning of the year. As I've said before, I don't know why I do it, I just feel compelled. As it has progressed, I've put more and more time into it. I do it six days a week. So sometimes it takes more energy than I want to give. In addition, I've taken on reading tarot part-time. And I'm also writing a book. And this is all on top of managing my everyday business...the job that pays the bills.

I'm not complaining. I'm not doing this for anyone but me. I'm following a voice inside me that says this is what I need to be doing right now, so I'm doing it. I have faith it will lead somewhere good. But sometimes I just don't feel like coming up with something different, as I've been doing for maybe 300 days in a row now. 

So tonight I got an easy one. Self care. Take care of yourself first, Tierney. It's like the whole oxygen mask on an airplane thing...put the mask on yourself first or you won't have enough oxygen to take care of anyone. I don't do this very well. I often marvel at how much better care I take of my dogs than I take of myself.

Somewhere in YOUR life, there's a similar situation. In some facet of your mental, spiritual, physical or emotional life, something is zapping you of energy and you need to take a day off. Just like in yesterday's entry about toxic relationships, you have to practice self care before illness or some other obstacle comes into your life to force it on you. Don't let it go that far. Being "selfish" in this way is the most giving thing you can do for others in your life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

8/18/11—Cutting Ties

Today's Draw: Ace of Swords from the Langustl Tarot. Are there any situations in your life that you need to distance yourself from? Do you have any toxic relationships? And are you more likely to end a friendship outright or just back away from it slowly?

Aces in the tarot deal with a surge of energy or renewed energy going toward whatever the suit symbolizes, so they're always welcome cards. And the Suit of Swords has to do with mental perceptions or thought. So the Ace of Swords usually deals with some sort of thought energy. It might mean focus. Or a move toward consciousness. Clarity. Insight. Or an uprush of ideas.

Langustl suggests something I hadn't seen before, though. In addition to the above, he also adds that the Ace of Swords means to keep your distance from something or cutting ties with someone in a relationship (thereby gaining new focus). 

This very subject just came up in a conversation with someone, so it has me thinking. Though not a terribly common thing, I do have a history of ending relationships when they're unhealthy. Probably the most notable one would be a woman I had known for maybe 25 years. She was my best friend, but a terribly critical person. Over the years our friendship waxed and waned in its intensity. Sometimes she would give more to the friendship. Sometimes I would. But a number of years ago, she started treating our friendship—and me—like a huge albatross around her neck. Something in the way she viewed me gave her permission to treat me with disrespect. During our last conversation she said the closer you are to someone, the more you're allowed to mistreat them. My view of that theory is pretty much the opposite. I ended the friendship and really haven't had regrets. 

Over the years I can think of a lot of good friendships that, due to personal growth and life circumstances, have worn out their welcome. The control freak. The drama queen. The unfeeling zombie. Reviewing the ending of these friendships, I see how they coincided with the ending of similar qualities within myself. Now and again, like with my old best friend, it's the ending of a complementary quality within me, like the lack of self esteem that kept me hanging on to a friendship that was so "abusive" and inequitable.

But it's not just people. It can be "things", too. Tonight I was laying on the bed in guestroom and saw an artwork that an old boyfriend did when he was a teenager. For some years, I admired the piece of art and it was in my living room. For some, it was just a "thing" and I had it hanging in my hallway. And now it's something I no longer have use for, so it's relegated to the room I never go into. Looking at it invites memories of an old toxic relationship and existence that I just don't identify with anymore. I know it means a lot to him. I don't want any kind of contact with him, but it did occur to me that I could drop it off anonymously at his son's home (which is local). That's probably not a good solution, but I would like it to make its way back into his family without him feeling he needs to contact me.

I think sometimes we don't realize how all this toxicity builds up within us...putting up with people who treat us poorly, getting sucked into drama, and being reminded of more toxic times. But every thought we have changes our chemistry to a certain degree. Build up enough bad chemistry within you and it can be detrimental to your health. It's just not worth it. Even if it's a 25 year friendship. 

When I first  started walking away from these kinds of relationships many years ago, I felt guilty. Some people keep these people in their lives, after all, and just downgrade their relationships. But I'm a closure girl. For better or worse, I like to clear a slate of all toxic thoughts and resentments. And I would be remiss if I didn't say that people have left me in the dust when I've been unhealthy to them, too. The door swings both ways. And I don't blame them any more than I blame myself. It gives me an opportunity to examine my own stuff.

So today is a good day to look at the effect you have on others and the effect they have on you. If adjustments are necessary, consider making them. Life is too short and happiness too fleeting to allow anything to prey on your well being.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

8/17/11—Balancing the Costs and Benefits of Technology

Today's Draw: The Two of Coins from the Victoria Regina. How often during the day do you find yourself connected to some sort of technology? What did you used to do more of that you do less of now to make time for your gadgets? Do you control your technology or does it control you?

The Two of Coins is about balancing resources, whether it be time, money, patience or any other resource. So many of you, especially parents, spend your lives juggling one thing against another while you tread on the hamster wheel of life. This card suggests that you set priorities and put the low-priority demands aside for a while. In other words, say "no" now and again. Otherwise you may lose balance and drop it all. 

The book gave an interesting perspective on balance. It said that the Victorian era was both innovative and traditional. People simultaneously embraced newfangled inventions and clung tight to the old ways. For example, when gaslight became common in home use, it didn't spell the end of candles. People just used both. 

I don't know where or why or what, but I feel there's a danger in how quickly we adopt new technologies today. Everyone abandons the old in favor of the new, regardless of how well the old might have worked for them. And the technology industry encourages this by making the old obsolete. Can't use old TVs very well anymore. Nothing much new to do with a VCR. Even books are going high-tech. And yet, in all of this, we really never ask if we need this stuff. We just consume. So we use phones that may be giving us brain cancer and eat food that's genetically engineered and we don't seem to question it. At least not enough to say "whoa! You've gone far enough."

I'm a lot like a Victorian person in many ways. First of all, I use something until it breaks beyond reasonable or affordable repair. And I'm no worse for that. On one hand, I've been using computers pretty much my entire career. I was an early adopter of the home computer, back when modems were external and connected to the Internet at a blazing 14.4 kb/s. Also, my teenage home was one of the test markets for cable TV, so I was in early on that.

But everything else I waited until I had a crushing need for. Got a CD player quite late. Still drive cars with manual locks (not to mention no DVR player or OnStar). Don't own an ATM or Debit card. The teller at the bank works well for me. Only got a cell phone two years ago and have used it for about an hour or so in those two years. In fact, I got my first text the other day. It startled me. And I had my last TV for 20+ years...old-fashioned bowed screen and all. It worked fine. Why change it?

From my perspective, I see people attached to technology all day long. For some people, life is one big phone and/or text conversation that never ends....not in the line at Starbucks, not while driving home from work, not while your kids are struggling with personal decisions, not while your wife is needing attention, not ever. Burying heads inside technology (not to mention the "noise" it makes, like with music and TV) keeps people from actually dealing with life, what's in their heads and the rest of their environment. Same is true for kids and their gaming, people with their ipods, etc. I'm guilty myself, because I do spend a lot of time on my computer blogging, working or on Facebook. And I watch a lot of TV. I can't imagine adding a phone, texting and/or games to all that!

The result is that our view of life becomes increasingly myopic. Our gaze rarely reaches beyond the 12" between us and the computer/phone/iPad/Kindle. Most of our lives are contained within a slim, lightweight device, with the rest of the world confined to our peripheral vision. And communing with anything else, including 3D people, becomes more and more rare. Because even when we're there, we're not there. We're checking our messages. 

So I have personally drawn a line and continue to carve away at it. If I'm in my living room, I'm probably connected. But not in my back yard, rarely in my bedroom, and next to never in my car or out with friends. And when I am connected at home and one of the dogs comes by to say hello, I make a conscious practice of closing the laptop and focusing entirely on them multiple times a day. As I continue to reduce my Facebook time, I'm also pumping up my social engagements and out-of-home work so I spend more time one-on-one with people. Fortunately, most of my 3D friends are not people who check their messages compulsively or anything like that. So when we're there, we're there. Next on my list is to start spending more time at parks like I did today with my dogs. Then there's reading (real books) and being more active—all things I do more of when I'm not connected. I acknowledge I spend more time online than is healthy and am digging myself back out.

Just as we have to prioritize when we're too busy juggling our time, the same is true about the technologies that command so much of our attention. When whatever is 12" away on screen becomes more important/interesting than a person or animal 24" away, it's time to stop, take a break and reconnect with the other parts of our lives. If the phone takes you away from being conscious in your activities, turn it the frick off. You know what your own personal deal is...what is necessary and what is over the line. What serves and what's a crutch. I don't have the same connection needs of a mother or a person who travels a lot for their work. Nor do I have the same responsibilities. I can't say what is too much for you. But when you find yourself on a verdant path through the middle of the woods on a beautiful day texting or yapping on the phone, maybe it's time to take a look at the role technology plays in your life. 

It's nice to have all the neat new devices out on the market, but ask yourself if you truly need them and if the cost/benefit is worth it. At least make it a conscious decision, rather than doing it because everyone else is. There are certain drugs I never tried in my checkered past, simply because I was afraid I'd like them too much. I apply the same logic to technology. Because once you start down a road, it's hard to turn back. Life is made to be experienced with all five senses, not just sight and sound.

Monday, August 15, 2011

8/16/11—Giving Your Soul a Taste of Home

Today's Draw: The Warrior of Souls from the Dreampower Tarot. Have you ever considered seeing life entirely through the eyes of the soul? What might that look like? And how might it change the way you walk through life?

The Warrior of Souls is a hermaphrodite, representing a balance of male and female energies. He/she invites us along the path to the sea of the soul, navigating the depths of both logic and emotion. This is a warrior that conquers through love, understanding and compassion. He/she is invincible, a spiritual inspiration who understands the power of each sex within. 

What do you suppose it means to be a Warrior of Souls? It's not someone who fights for the individual...for Tierney or Sue or Pete. It's a warrior fighting for that part of us that is eternal, perfect and essential to being. But if the soul is eternal and pure at its essence, what would it need with a warrior?

One theory about souls is that they incarnate in order to experience different forms of life and different experiences of life. Life gives the soul a form to incarnate into, as well as a series of variables to deal with during that lifetime, driven by the personality...the part of you that is Tierney, Pete or Sue. So it would make sense that an androgynous figure would represent the warrior form of human life—it's a neutral vessel from which to experience all of human life. 

But for the other variables of life—those locked in human thought, personality, instinct and emotion—you'd think a neutral position would be something akin to non-judgment and/or a meditative state. So why might this warrior choose love and compassion to do battle for the soul?

I don't know if it's like this now, but when I spent a summer in Europe 25+ years ago, ice was hard to come by when you ordered a drink. If you asked for it, you may or may not get it there, while here, it's ubiquitous. Then there are other types of differences, such as language, social mores and societal quirks. Nothing devastating in the adjustments you have to make to spend time over there. But it's not fully comfortable. It's not fully "home". 

I imagine the soul feels the same when it's here on earth inside a human body. So many emotions! So many thoughts! Some less palatable than others. While this is a beautiful planet to be on, being a human is a very complex thing. An interesting thing. An educational thing. But not comfortable. Not pure. Not perfect or peaceful. Not like "home". 

Love and compassion are, at once, the easiest and hardest states for humans to live in. When we challenge ourselves to look at everything through the eyes of love, understanding, compassion, we challenge ourselves to see our world through the eyes of the soul...through the universal heart. When we balance the male and female sexualities and drives within us, we exist in balance with the soul. 

And when we can manage to do either or both, we give our soul a gift as great as the one it gives us in being able to see life through its eyes...we give it the gift of feeling at home within us. Even if it's only for a day or an hour at a time. If, for no other reason, we take the warrior's invitation and try to see our world entirely with love and compassion now and again, isn't that worth it?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

8/15/11—Doing Less and Believing More

Today's Draw: The Magician from the Minute Tarot. What amount of power do you believe you possess to change your life? What do you think your limits are in this regard? Do you ever actively think about conscious creation in your life?

The Minute Tarot is all about speed-reading the tarot. So she's boiled the Magician down to one word—Manifest!

Sooner or later that's what we all have to do, right? We can only strategize and plan and prepare and consider and AVOID for so long. Sooner or later we have to "do". We have to take the first step in the direction we want to go. 

It sounds easy, but the reason it's not is because it requires a leap of faith. It means risking failure. Being vulnerable. And putting it all on the line. 

I'm someone who can think the life out of pretty much anything before I actually make a valid move in the direction of getting it. On the other hand, the biggest moves I've made in my life have occurred with very little, or no, obsessive thinking beforehand—becoming self-employed, buying a house, pursuing a second career in tarot. It's a lot easier when you don't take the time to consider how many different ways you can fail.

One of the best books I ever read about manifestation—and life, even—was Deepak Chopra's Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.  In that book, it not only talks about visualizing what you want and taking a step in the direction, but it also talks about releasing your attachment to the outcome. I always like to add to anyone's "secrets" to manifestation, to wish for the right thing. Wish for a feeling or a general direction...being happy in my career...having a fulfilling career that helps others....stuff like that. In that context, releasing attachment to the outcome means to try and not define what you think that outcome will be. It also means that if you don't get the outcome you expected, to have faith because you may have gotten something better...or the direction you got may be a valuable stepping stone for something further down the road. See, god or the universe has a much bigger and better dream for you than you could imagine. So, assuming something doesn't feel wrong or dangerous, surrender in faith to what you receive and trust it's either answering your request or is leading to the answer.

What it comes to is that being a powerful manifester does not mean that you're a powerful doer. In fact, Deepak Chopra also suggests taking the path of least effort. You have to try, but you have to leave room for god or whatever you believe in to do their part. 

No, manifestation is not about doing. It's about living in faith. It's about letting go and trusting. Surrendering. The Magician has all the tools he need to create anything he, air, fire and water. But he also has a grasp on the higher power and knows that the magic that is abundant above, is just as accessible and abundant here on earth. The single most powerful tool we can have for our futures is faith that there is a higher energy we can tap into to create anything we want. Can you take that leap of faith?

BTW, I recommend the Deepak Chopra book. It's a fast read. But for manifestation, I recommend anything by Mike Dooley. You can find his stuff at amazon or at