Tuesday, April 17, 2012

4/18/12—Scoring the Cherry Lifesaver

Today's Draw: The Nine of Pentacles from the Fishy Tarot. Are you proud of what you've built in your life? If you could change something, what would it be? What if you found out the secret to success, fulfillment and happiness was as simple as changing your vision of what they are?

The Nine of Pentacles is, first and foremost, a card about prosperity and expansion. But I often like to see it also as a card representing all you've built in the world. All YOU have built. When you move to the Ten, you can consider it more of what you've built along with your family or tribe. But this is all about you. 

And, when you think of it, it's all about you anyway. After all, you built the tribe or family that brings stability and security in the Ten, just as you brought the growth and abundance in the Nine. I think we never truly own our power and responsibility in the world until we realize that every choice we make—and don't make—goes into building what we have in this very moment. 

At this point people tend to ask, "what about the things that happen to you that you can't control? The layoffs, car accidents and muggings of life?" These aren't things you asked for, but they are things you have to answer for. And the choice comes in how you end up doing that. Whether or not you allow it to hold you back, spur you on or utterly defeat you. We've all seen stories of people who've suffered fates far greater than we'll ever know...disfiguring accidents, death camps, unspeakable abuse...and they still find purpose, passion, joy and love in their lives.

The thing that usually trips people up is thinking everything is black and white. Remember Five Flavor Lifesavers? If you were like me, you hoped beyond hope that the next one would be cherry. Because yummy Lifesavers were red and all the others colors were second-class flavors. 

Reality was that all the flavors were good except the HORRIFIC pineapple (have you EVER tasted a pineapple remotely flavored like that?). But there I was merely tolerating lemon, lime and orange in hopes that the next one would be cherry. My vision of what the best "next flavor" was was so unyielding and absolute that I cheated myself out of enjoying the other flavors. I CHOSE to disappoint myself 4 out of 5 times in every roll. In fact, had I been in advertising back then, that's the headline I would have written—"Disappointment in Every Roll." 

Ironically, I could have chosen to win the "Five Flavor challenge" every single time by buying a roll of Cherry Lifesavers. Or I could have had variety AND a surplus of cherry at the same time by getting two rolls. But it never occurred to me that I had way more options than I thought.

We do this more often than we realize in our lives. Our vision of what success, achievement, abundance, prosperity and happiness look like is so narrow and absolute that we cheat ourselves out of experiencing the multi-flavored goodness that life puts in front of us every day. If there is something you want to achieve and you hit up against a wall, I guarantee you there is another way. The road there and the final destination may not look the way you imagined, but if you want what you want, achievement can be as easy as changing the picture in your mind. 

You either choose to achieve the things you want in life or you don't. It's like that saying, "do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?" If you'd rather receive your happiness the "right" way—the way it appears in movies and books and other dramas that dance in your brain—then you choose the disappointments that come when it arrives in a different package. But if you choose to be happy regardless of how you get that way, chances are you'll get there faster, revisit more often and reside there longer.

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