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.