Friday, January 13, 2012

1/14/12-1/15/12—Securing Your Future

Weekend Reading: Guardian of Earth from the Gaian Tarot. The Guardian of Earth is a tender and a nurturer. He makes choices in alignment with his continued good health and prosperity, and to the benefit of his home and the earth. He does this not just for himself but for his family and the future. This weekend think about what steps you can take to strengthen your health, job, prosperity and the earth. These are the structures that support your happiness and lifestyle. We assume these things will always be there to support us. But that is an illusion. Nothing is guaranteed. So don't take anything for granted this weekend. Start formulating a plan to bring you greater security from this point forward.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1/13/12—Syncing Up With Synchronicity

Today's Draw: Page of Wands from the Spiral Spirit Tarot. Do you believe everything in life happens for a reason? Do you see messages in the random weirdnesses of everyday life? And if the "coincidences" in your life were telling you something, what would it be?

Because many of you will not recognize this deck, I thought I'd give a little information and maybe enable a few of you to buy it. The Spiral Spirit was created by Khara Scott-Bey as part of her path of evolving consciousness. The images appear to be printed on a color copier and affixed to black board. So they are plain black on the back. The stock is sturdy. Because of the thickness of the stock, the deck is a big handful.

Whatever the deck lacks in production values, though, it makes up for in imagery and originality. I'm a fan of non-traditional decks and I'm also a fan of decks with words on them. While this deck borrows a small bit from traditional imagery, I think it can be considered a totally original, non-traditional deck. There is no lwb, but none is needed because keyword appear on every card. The deck's contemporary, multicultural images result in a number of interesting and original choices that will make you glad to add it to your collection. If you are viewing this on Facebook, go to for a link and an additional image.

OK. Now that's said, this Page of Wands is a nice follow-on to yesterday's post about fate. In that post I said I thought the things that happen in our lives happen for a reason and there's a message in there, if we know where to look. Well, that's what we're talking about today. 

Spiral Spirit has fully illustrated pips.
A couple of months ago I took a job with a new client. I could feel in my gut it was going to be a problem, but I took it anyway. Then a couple of weeks later, before work ever started, I got another chance to say no. This time the message was (figuratively) accompanied by starbursts and glitter and big red arrows. But I kept going. The work was only going to last a month or so, so I figured I'd be in, then out. Bada bing, bada boom.

Anyway, long story short, one month has turned to two. And during that time I've had a number of anxiety issues (which I NEVER have), worry, heartburn, irritable bowels (no kidding) and a number of other symptoms, all perfectly timed to milestones with this job. While I know it never pays to ignore signs and intuitions, I did it anyway. And now I'm all tied up in knots trying to finish up this work in a way that makes everyone happy.

The Universe/God uses its hand to guide us in many ways, through feelings, situations, memories and other clues—even direct messages. A person may warn us against something and we do it anyway. We may be discussing an investment opportunity and the image of a stop sign comes up in our mind's eye. Or, conversely, we might see Lotto signs everywhere we go that day, buy a scratch-off and win $100. Much of what we call coincidence is not coincidence at all. It's there for a reason. I'll bet you can't even count the times when you've said to yourself "I should have trusted my gut!"

While I had clues before I accepted this job—and even an outright warning—I took it anyway. But, even though I defied all the clues, it still wasn't a mistake. Because the entirety of the situation has come together in another message for me. It has made me realize that I just really can't work with people who aren't my peers anymore. I usually only work directly with people who work in my business—either marketing directors, artists or agency people—rather than, say, an HR expert who is having their first experience managing a marketing project because they were the one who volunteered to do it.

Is it a coincidence this experience is happening now as I'm transitioning into another career area? Is it just happenstance that, as I question if I can ever leave behind a career that has been my passion for 25 years, I'm having a less than stellar experience that is taking a physical and emotional toll on me? Is it just circumstance that right now I'm getting a lot of good, energizing feedback in other revenue-generating areas of my life? And is there any way possible I could have made an actual mistake in all this? Of course not! 

My main client relationships are clipping along fine, as they always are. And they're the ones that earn me the bulk of my money on a yearly basis. So looking at the clues around me, I can't help but feel the universe guiding me to stick with what is working and stop messing with opportunities like this because they take energy away from focusing on what I want to be doing.

Many times we go through our days marveling at coincidences, grimacing at our mistakes and wondering "WTF" at the occasional monkey on a unicycle that crosses our path. But consider that these things are signs, messages and signals from above and the language they're speaking is one you know. It may be a little fuzzy or unusual in its delivery, but you know. And if you only think you might know, then you know.

Yes, we can drive ourselves INSANE thinking everything is an important message we must understand or there will be consequences to pay. That's not what I'm suggesting. What I'm saying is, first, just notice the coincidences. Become aware of them. Then once you start noticing them, consider what they might be telling you. The more we listen to the guidance we're given, the more guidance we're given. And the more guidance we're given, the more beautifully the universe's plan for us unfolds. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1/12/12—Believing In Fate

Today's Draw: The Wheel from the Blue Dog Rose Tarot by Nakisha. Do you believe in fate? Free will? Meaningless coincidence? Are there any aspects of your life you think you've been on a collision course with since you were born?

What is called "The Wheel" in this deck is usually known as The Wheel of Fortune. And it traditionally speaks to how a person's "luck" is a constantly revolving thing...always on the upswing or downswing. Most readers I know read the card as a change for the better. 

But The Wheel is also about destiny and Nakisha uses that as her meaning...a turning point with larger forces at work.

Destiny, fate, kismet—whatever you choose to call it—is one of those spiritual principles that many people believe in "to a degree". Certainly there are people who think everything is fated, and people who think nothing is fated. But many people reserve the right to land somewhere in between the two extremes.

Animal-themed suits include birds, dogs, cats and rodents.
Whether guided by the hand of God or the yearnings of the soul, I believe we all come here for a reason and that reason includes learning certain lessons. In a way, I think we make an agreement of sorts, such as "I will live X, Y and Z experience in order to learn A, B and C." Whatever our soul's lesson is, is predetermined—predetermined before we're even conceived. But the details of how we get to that lesson are not. 

I also think certain parts of our lives are fated. There was no way I wasn't going to be a writer in this lifetime. I knew before I could write or read that I was going to be a writer. Why or how a four-year-old child would not only think they'd be a writer, but be kind of resigned to it in a "oh well" kind of way is beyond me. But I knew. However, I assumed I'd be a novelist and, never say never, but I don't think that's going to happen. 

So I feel I was destined to somehow make an impression with my words, but it was my choice as to how that would come about. I also think we have soul mates that we're destined to meet...members of a soul group that travel through many lifetimes together. Beyond that, I believe other things are destined, but I don't know what or how. I think a decision I make today that seems fairly mundane could turn out to be something that was destined to change my life. I don't think we always know when we're playing into fortune's hand.

My sweet boy, Kizzie, came to me in an act of kismet.
I'm also someone who does not believe in coincidence. I believe the things that occur in our lives happen for a reason and there's some message or guidance in it for us. In short, I think our lives are far more magical than we ever give credit for. And while I believe we have a great deal of free will, I also believe the personality/spirit our soul inhabits is sort of ready-made to make the kinds of decisions that will lead to our fated conclusions. 

So where do you stand on all of this? Is there something you feel has been completely unavoidable in your life? Can you think of a situation where you've chosen repeatedly to avoid something, only to have it pop back up time and time again? What message do you think is in that for you?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1/11/12—Aligining Your Spirituality With Your Work

Today's Draw: Nine of Pentacles from the Shadowscapes Tarot. Are your spiritual and material beliefs aligned? Do you see your job as something you do in service to a particular community? Do you treat others the same way at work as you would treat them at church?

The Nine of Pentacles is traditionally about prosperity and security. It's about the satisfaction that comes from a job well done. But this particular Nine of Pentacles puts a little different twist on that. It's about working and earning in integrity with your beliefs. 

As you probably know by now, I work in advertising. I'm the person that writes the words that, hopefully, convince you to buy. A lot of people have negative views about advertising and probably about my job in particular. My father was one of those people. Raised during the depression, he was suspicious of snake oil dealers and the false claims people feel are made in advertising. 

That said, I've never encountered anyone suggesting that you should bend the truth in my entire career. And I've never written words I didn't believe to be true about the product or service in question. Only once did I ever come upon a situation that made me feel skeevy and we were able to resolve it to the liking of everyone involved. 

Doing what I do, I get to talk to a lot of company owners, inventors and company presidents. Without exception, these are people who have a passion for what they do and truly believe in what they have to offer. People are out there are on a mission and I get to help them achieve it.

But aligning your beliefs with your spirituality is about more than passion. It's about honesty and integrity and what's fair. So the question then becomes, "are you the same person at work that you'd be at church?" I imagine a lot of people compartmentalize their "lives" and justify different tactics in different places. But you're either in integrity to your beliefs or not.

As I move toward a second career as an author, my spirituality *is* my career. And with that comes a lot of responsibility that I'm not taking lightly. If you look at the woman in the card, she's a musician, but her instrument is as much a part of nature as her soul is. There is no separation between her earth-focused spirituality and her work. She doesn't slip into the "love of money" trap. She doesn't treat those around her with disrespect. In fact, she doesn't work, she serves. 

All of us serve in one way or another. The question is, are you cognizant of it? Do you approach your job in a way of service? And do you treat it and others as though God were though God were who you were serving? I'm sure some of you out there are thinking, "what do you want, lady, it's just a job!" To that I would say, "so I take it your answer is a no?"

Last week I took people to task about other facets of maintaining your spiritual integrity. And this is another one of those posts where we have to at least ask ourselves if our spirituality encompasses and informs our entire life, or is just for showy talks by the fireplace. This isn't about needing to change jobs, it's about needing to change the way you walk on a 9-5 basis. 

I didn't always see my job as service. Someone else opened my eyes to that notion many years ago. And seeing it as service completely changed the way I approach it. Yeah, sometimes it makes bitchy or whiny. My spirituality isn't as mature in my job as it is by the fireplace, but it's there and the way I run my business and my business partnerships is very much aligned with my beliefs. In those moments I'm not in alignment, I'm very aware of it and use it as an opportunity to see where I can do better.

So just noodle this. That's all I'm saying. I will say that if you can do that one thing...see your work as will change the way you feel about your job and the way you approach others. And before anyone says, "yeah, but you don't know this beyotch I have to work with", keep in mind your spiritual integrity is not dependent on anyone but you. The way you respond is a choice. Sure it's hard. And it's also easy, because the roadmap is laid out before you. You always know the right thing to do.

Monday, January 9, 2012

1/10/12—Reaching Ecstasy

Today's Draw: Dionysus from the Gods and Titans Oracle. What brings you to ecstasy? How often do you allow yourself to just let go? And what do you want to bet a lot of people peek inside this post  and its responses today?

Well, now. Here's something different! First, ladies (and some gents)... purrrrr, right? Second, I'm using an oracle deck, not a tarot deck today. And I think it's obvious why. And third is the message...

We often think of Dionysus as the God of Wine (and free love) and he was. But his gift was so much greater than that. Back in ancient Greece, women and minorities were restrained by society (SO unlike today *eye roll*). And Dionysus was known as the great liberator. The repressed would worship his "no rules and total freedom" approach and after spending most of their days and nights in restraint, they could finally let go. Cults grew and he became one of the most popular Gods of the day. Even now, he is among the best-known Gods of ancient times, even though many held more power on Mount Olympus. 

When I pulled this card it was hard for me to think of a recent example of how I let go. Now, don't get me wrong, I've done my share of drugs and drinking and improper behavior, but I've left most of that in my past, primarily because I don't have the energy for it anymore...haha. And there are, let's say, some private situations in which I have no problem letting go. But when I think back on my life, I can't honestly describe myself as Dionysian at any phase. 

This card isn't suggesting that we adopt it as a new lifestyle, though. It's simply saying that jumping out of your box and getting jiggy with life can sort of blow the gunk out of your system and revitalize you...remind you you're alive. Some might skydive or bungee jump, for example. Others might dance or sing. Still others may find their release through spiritual means or even through a wild affair. 

When we think of Dionysus, we think of alcohol. I'm not a drinker, but every once in a while I'll break loose that way. However, it's a sticky wicket, because this isn't about drinking yourself to sleep every night or doing drugs in excess. Nor is about a skydiving instructor going skydiving every day. It's about letting go in ways that aren't part of your routine and don't turn you into a zombie. It's about reaching moments of ecstasy that are outside of our day-to-day experiences, take us out of ourselves and leave us feeling renewed.

A couple of years ago I went to a Krishna Das and Deva Premal concert with a friend. Both of these performers are chanters (think along the lines of the Hare Krishna song). There's something about fact, it's often called ecstatic chant. This was, 3 or 4 hours of solid chanting and, very unusual for me, dancing and swaying. It was total loss of self. Total loss of ego. And in a way that energized and fed me for days. Chant always does that for me, whether in a group or in private meditation.

While writing this, I reminded of other ways that bring me out of myself. But I was also reminded of how rarely I give this gift to myself. What about you?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1/9/12—Choosing Your Feelings

Today's Draw: Five of Cups from the Baroque Bohemian Cats. Do you feel like life has given you a bum break? Or are you someone who feels pretty good about the life you've got? And are feelings something that happen to you or are they something you choose?

The first thought this card brings to me is, "why so glum, fancy pants?" This cat takes "woe is me" to a whole new level of furry, cute, costumed sadness. 

He's got his whiskers all in a bunch over what he doesn't have, when look at all he does have! He has his health. His good looks. And he's got a fabulous wardrobe that suggests that he's probably got a lot of catnip in the bank. But he's sad about his love life. Maybe his baby-mama has run off with a tabby. Or maybe she's decided to become an indoor cat. Or maybe she's just gotten tired of his endless meowing. 

In most Five of Cups cards, you'll see all five cups. It's possible the urns on the church doorway are meant to be the other two cups, I suppose. But all we know for sure is that three of his cups are empty. Regardless, the story of the Five of Cups in the tarot is that three are empty, but two are still full. The person or cat in the card is so busy focusing all their attention on the three empty vessels that they neglect to notice or care for the two that are full. 

I have a couple of things to say about that. The first is that, no matter how bad your tale of woe is, there's someone with a worse one. And since this is true in all circumstances, you have to consider that the people with ultimate tales of woe are either experiencing living nightmares as we speak or, for example, are brains locked inside bodies that won't allow them to scream for help. That's about the worst I can think of. Kinda makes the cat's issues look self indulgent now, doesn't it?

Sometimes you don't get this lesson or gain this perspective until you live a nightmare of your own. But mark my words, there's always someone who's got it worse than you. Many someones, in fact. And chances are, the worse off they are, the more they're counting their full cups. The worse things get, the less luxury you have to pity yourself, because you need that energy simply to survive.

The second thing I have to say is this—what you focus on increases in your life. Focus on lack and you will increase your plateful of lack. Focus on how unlovable you are (like our cat friend) and you become more unlovable. I mean, the truth of that is plain to see. Who on earth would want to go to the kitty dance hall with this dude?

I've heard the same thing said in both a list of secrets to living longer and secrets to business success... both groups say the rate at which you bounce back from disappointment is key. We all know sad sacks who go through life just And we know people who have probably had tougher breaks who think life is grand. The key is not in the circumstances, it's in the mindset. 

I'm a single woman who hasn't had a romantic partner in a long time. But my life is so full of love. I could focus on the empty of cups of not having a lover and always feel like I'm missing something. Or I could focus on the full cups of having unconditional love from two fabulous doggies, support from friends and the undying admiration of all of you. I choose to focus on the full cups, because that's where the love is. 

Get it? 

Feelings are not sentences we have to serve. They're choices. Even something like depression is a choice, because there's a whole range of solutions from exercise to medication to treat it. What will you choose to feel today? Will you focus on the empty cups or the full ones?