Friday, April 27, 2012

4/28/12—4/29/12—Being Mindful

Weekend Reading: Eight of Coins from the Margarete Petersen. This card asks us to be mindful this weekend. If you pay attention to even just a simple leaf, you can learn a whole story. You can know what kind of tree it belongs to. What time of year it is. How healthy the tree's nutrition system is—roots, trunk, branches and the leaves themselves. In essence, it speaks to the whole interrelatedness of tree and nature... temperatures, sunlight, soil and the animal and insect impact on that system. The people and situations in your life are just as ripe with information. Pay attention this weekend and see what stories the simplest things around you can tell.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4/27/12—Reuniting with Your Lost Self

Today's Draw Classic*: Six of Vessels from the Wildwood. Reunion. Is there something you're currently being reunited with? Is it a happy reunion? And what part of your "self" is it returning to you?

The Six of Vessels/Cups traditionally speaks to some sort of nostalgia and usually has a childlike feel to it, as if you're being reminded of something from childhood. But the Wildwood takes that concept further. It speaks of the reunion of souls from other lives, for example, in the form of soul mates. The reunion of a clan or tribe. The reunion of different parts of your "self" or a part of your history. Although the traditional thrust of this card is that it's usually a sweet reunion, the Wildwood points out that it could be a rocky one, but with the intention of giving you a chance to heal and integrate that part of yourself that you're reuniting with.

The moment I pulled this card this morning, I was greeted with a happy feeling, though. There's just so much cooperation, symbiosis and beauty in this card. And whether it's from the moment you reunite or by the time the reunion is through, this is where you're being led. To a place of integration where all parts of you feed all parts of you. Even if the thing you're reuniting with is another person. 

There is a perspective in the spiritual world that everyone you encounter is an angel. If you believe you come from light and return to light, you can see how this is true. The concept is hard to apply to someone who annoys you or angers you. But in this context, they are some of your kindest angels, because they came into your life, knowing you'd hate them, just so you could learn. Who could love you more than them, that they would be willing to feel the pain of your rejection just to help you out in this world?

Recently I feel I've been reunited with a passion and ambition that has been gone in my life for quite some time. Hopefully I will have matured in my handling of that energy when all is said and done. I'm finding that part of myself that moves through the world with trust and faith, that part that leaps and trusts the net will be there to catch me. Fear has kept me from it for a long time. I feel my journey in all of this will be a positive, happy one, rather than a painful one. 

Something larger is happening in my life right now and I'm going with it. The last time it happened on a big scale was back when I became a freelancer and, during that time, I experienced one of the happiest stretches of my life, both literally and figuratively. So, fingers crossed, I'm being reunited with all of that, rather than with lessons that have to be hard or painfully won.

What are you reuniting with these days? What lost part of your self are you joining with? Or is there actually an unexpected reunion with someone in your past in the offing? And if so, what do you think that came here to teach you?

*This is a reprint of a draw from 5/9/11

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

4/26/12—Knowing vs. Thinking

Today's Draw: The Priestess from the Gaian Tarot. Do you give more weight to what you "think" or to what you "know"? What is an example of something you've just "known" that turned out to be true? Where do you stand on the topic of "coincidences" like I've written about below.

The High Priestess in the tarot draws a distinction between "thinking" and "knowing". Thinking is about rationally processing the things you see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Knowing doesn't have to be rational at all. It's the inner processing of things see, hear, touch, taste and smell...along with things you don't see, hear, touch, taste and smell. In a way, though, the High Priestess isn't about the five senses at all. It's about the six sense of intuition that we all have...that sense of knowing in the absence of proof. 

Until I drew this card, I hadn't realized that, in the last 24 hours, I had been carrying on conversations with two of my real-life friends and colleagues. Both of them are mediums. And both of them, in one way or another, gave me the same message. 

One received her message from beyond. It wasn't even meant for me. She sent it in a newsletter to all her peeps. A spirit person came to her and said that he worried about the people he left behind because they still grieved him. And not so much because he was gone, but more because of the pain he endured, the length of time he suffered and all they went through when he was alive. He wanted them to know he was free of that now and that he didn't want them to think of him that way. He wanted them to think of him at peace and the way he was before his illness. 

The other sent me the following poem: 

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!
—Mary Frye (1932)

Over the next couple of days, my family is going to say their final goodbyes to my brother and bury his body. But that's all they'll be burying—a vessel that has ceased to serve. Even without any mystical mumbo jumbo, his spirit will never leave the hearts and minds of those who loved him. But WITH the mystical mumbo jumbo, he's still here. I know it.

I'm a late to bed, late to rise person, so I almost never see any time in the 6AMs. But three times in the past week, I have awakened at exactly 6:50 am. Even though each time I felt oddly refreshed upon awakening, I managed to go back to sleep two of those times. But this morning was different. 

I think most people who knew my brother wouldn't blink at the notion that, if he were to return in spirit, he would, at least, be a little mischievous and, more likely, a full-on pain in the arse as he tested the limits of this new-found "power" of his. He was never really a practical joker, so much as he was a joker. And a poker. 

So, anyway, this morning at 6:50 am, my smoke detector buzzed. Then it buzzed again a minute later. Then it buzzed again. Figuring this would continue at intervals throughout the day, I just got up and changed the darned batteries. Then I started my day, got all my deadlines done and had time to take a nap before writing this and going out to do family obligations. 

The rational "thinking" mind says the batteries were dying because I'm a bad homeowner and the batteries died and it was just a coincidence that it happened on this day at 6:50am. Truth is, I was supposed to change them at "spring forward" and didn't. I won't deny that.

The High Priestess tells me that it's no coincidence at all, however. Just as it's no coincidence that there were 6 of us and now there are 5 and I've woken up at 6:50 three times in the past week. I smoked cigarettes for 26 years and even now, nine years quit, I'm still extra careful around candles and incense and whatnot, based on the paranoia I developed from the threat of poorly extinguished butts. My brother was a smoker who died of lung cancer. And it was the smoke detector that went off. 

One of my medium friends said she has many clients who wake up at the same time every night. And spirits have told her that it's them and that the person is awakened by the changing energy in the room. Of course there are more rational explanations for this, I'm sure. But I "know" different. And I'm pretty sure I can hear my brother laughing his ass off about the smoke detector in heaven as we speak.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

4/25/12—Getting Help When You Need It

Today's Draw: Dreamer Five from Tarot of the Sidhe—Hope Discarded. Are you thinking of making a choice that you KNOW is bad for you? Does it seem like there's always a black cloud hanging over your head? Are you just "not yourself" anymore?

Well, here's a bleak little draw for your humpday musings. The figure in the card has cut her cords of attachment—to hope, to humanity, to source—and she unceremoniously tosses her blade aside. Hope hasn't abandoned her. She has abandoned hope. The blood of her detachment taints the landscape around her. All that is left for her are feelings of negativity, defeat and powerlessness. 

The end. 

So have a nice Wednesday, readers!

Ha! You knew I wouldn't abandon you. Nor would I abandon hope. But sometimes I might forget it. 

I'm like a balanced/depressive. That's different from a manic depressive in that I never get manic...haha. At no time do I ever have crazy unbridled energy. The bipolar people I've known seem to like their manic phases because they get so much done. So I must admit I feel a little cheated. I'm either depressed or normal/balanced. From the depressed times, I know what it's like to forget about hope. And I also know what it's like to just let go and spiral downward as a choice, like this lady has done here. 

And I hate to say what I'm about to say because it makes me feel like every pushy religious zealot I hate, but God is the answer. And drugs. Drugs help, too. Antidepressants, not self medication, mind you. Because when your hormones are out of whack, Prozac will get you back.™ (Lines like these are why I earn the big bucks in advertising.)

I say God is the answer, too. And by that I mean that having faith and a regular spiritual practice that includes meditation or time with your higher power helps a lot. It especially helps keep you centered so you don't get down in the first place. But it's not the only answer and if you really are chemically depressed, your results may be quicker and better with modern medicine.

If you need help, there's no shame in seeking it. I've seen therapists at three different times in my life. And when the mood swings of menopause hit, I finally decided to take an antidepressant. I thought it would make me happy go lucky. Instead it just keeps me balanced. (Foiled again!) So if you're like me and pride has stood in your way, talk to your doctor. You don't have to feel this way. 

One of the things I've learned from the ups and downs of my life is that depression doesn't always look or feel like depression. Sometimes it looks and feels like making choices you know are bad for you, but you make them anyway. Sometimes it looks and feels like staying with someone who makes you feel "less than". Sometimes it looks and feels like a drug or alcohol problem. Sometimes it feels like nobody cares, so eff them all! Sometimes it looks and feels like life sucks and then you die. Sometimes it feels like chronic anger. Desperation. Negativity. Defeat. Powerlessness. All of those things, if they've caught you in their grips, are things your doctor should know about. Even if it feels like you don't feel like telling him. 

The thing about depression is that you usually don't know how bad it got until you're out of it. Sometimes you don't even know you're in it until you're out. When I look back on my life, I'm embarrassed to say I've had periods of YEARS in depression...where depression was my norm. I can even pinpoint times when I was so defeated that a thin line stood between pulling myself back out and cutting myself off from hope. In retrospect, I can see those times as foolish gambles. Because when you're that far gone...when you're feeling effectively are. In reality you always have the power, but sometimes you don't care enough to use it. And it's easy to cross the line.

So if you're feeling low or self-loathing/self-destructive and it doesn't look like things are heading up, talk to your doctor. It may not even be depression. Hey, I was severely anemic for two years of my life and that caused a lack of energy and doldrums. Sleep problems can cause emotional strain. Wheat allergies can lower your energy. And sometimes you just make idiotic decisions. There are any number of things that could be going on. And maybe they'll get better on their own. Maybe they won't. 

If you're within the reach of my words, I know for a FACT that you deserve to feel better. In fact, you wouldn't be reading my stuff if you weren't interested in improving yourself and your connection to source, because it's all I ever talk about. So if you're "not yourself" and haven't been for a while, you deserve to know why. Even if it means dragging your ass to the doctor. And if they tell you they don't have an appointment anytime soon, start crying and tell them you're afraid you don't have that long (even if you're just being dramatic). The first step toward feeling better is letting someone know who can help. YOU deserve that.

Monday, April 23, 2012

4/24/12—Playing Your Role

Today's Draw: Judgment from the Victorian Romantic. What role were you cast in in your family? What parts of that role have you claimed as "you"? And what parts have you escaped from?

Whenever I draw a card I don't want to write about, I take notice. Because inevitably there's a timely message in there for me. Such is the case with today's card. 

There are really a lot of ways to interpret this card. Usually the way I interpret it is that it's time to change an aspect of yourself you can no longer deny. The meaning that struck me today is similar,  but a little different. It's not so much about things I can no longer deny as can no longer avoid. For my own well-being. 

The card depicts angels calling on the dead and forgiving their sins so they can rise to heaven. This is representative of our past wounds we never let heal, sins we refuse to forgive and bad habits we never get around to losing. Within most of us, there's something from our past that it's time to lift up and let go of.

I believe one of the hardest things to discern in life is where others' characterizations of, and aspirations for, you end and where your authentic self begins. By this, I mean that much of our self image is shaped in our early years. And a lot of it is based on what we're told about ourselves and how we're treated by others. In a family unit, for example, you have a role. I'll forever be "the baby" and be characterized as such in one regard or another among my siblings. 

My sister Janet, who counts me among her friends and is one of my strongest supporters (and who will read these words), often gets my name confused with that of her daughter's. As much as she sees me as an adult and admires what I've accomplished in my life, there is a part of her that still confuses me with her own baby girl. I don't think it happens for any other reason than that these images and roles we establish in the first 10-12 years of our lives become so ingrained that we have a hard time shaking them. It's not a conscious thing. It comes from that automated or subconscious part of the mind.

Likewise, I remember a few years back seeing a bunch of pictures of myself as a child and being shocked. Because I wasn't fat! At least not for the first 10 years of life. I was a pudgy baby and the "fat" moniker held—the shame of being fat held—even though I was a normal little girl for at least part of the time. But the normal years received no attention, whereas the fat years were whispered about and approached with liquid diets and shame. Over time the fat thing became a self-fulfilling prophesy. I can assure you, though, no matter what size I was, I always saw myself much larger in my mind.

So, when I became an adult and got thin and healthy, I couldn't allow that to be me. I remember at one point I was wearing a size 9, which is a good size considering I'm 5'10. I was by no means supermodel thin. But one of my family members started expressing their worry that I was anorexic.  In order for them to feel comfortable with a thin Tierney, I had to have an eating disorder. So even though I liked being strong, feeling fit and being proud of my body, I eventually couldn't allow it to be me because it was just so foreign to everything I was ever told I was. I stayed that way for eight years, but eventually gained it all back and then some, slipping back into the shame and discomfort that had been so familiar all my life. 

Then there's the perception of my selfishness, meant to suggest I never do anything for others. (I happen to believe none of does anything that doesn't ultimately serve us, but I won't get into that now.) Sometimes I feel like no matter how compassionate, understanding, wise or whatever else I become, I'll always be dogged by the "spoiled, bratty, selfish baby" role I was cast in before I even knew how to talk. I'll never know if the path I've chosen as an adult is in an attempt to run away from that, or in an attempt to become who I really am and was always meant to be. The line is that thin. We're either who we've been cast as or we're escaping from it. And either way, on some level, even if it's entirely subconscious, we're shaped by the early assessments of others.

When someone in your life dies from a disease like lung cancer, you can't help but notice the unhealthy things you're doing in your doing in your own life. And with all the family around with 49-year-old perceptions of you lingering within their minds whether they consciously believe them or not, you're inspired to call your own self up for sober review to see who you are, really. And along with that comes time to let go of the preconceptions you hold of others based on their roles in the family, too. 

I don't think we can ever separate ourselves by who we would have been "if", because "if" never happens. Even if you're literally raised by wolves, you're imprinted by your place in the pack. In the end, we are what we allow ourselves to be and we have to take responsibility for it, whether that means we prolong our lives with a regular meditation practice (which I do) or shorten it by overeating and holding on to past hurts (which I also do). 

Ultimately Judgment is a card about taking that inventory, taking responsibility and deciding who you want to be from this moment forward—regardless of who your parents, siblings, children or spouse expect you to be....and regardless of whether or not they'll ever allow you to be that person in their own minds. You may have many go-rounds on this earth, but you only get one chance to be YOU. 

This moment of Judgment is cyclical in that it comes around multiple times in our lives as we move ever higher in our personal evolution. It's here for me now and I pray I have the courage and strength to break free of some of the chains I've allowed to bind me throughout my life. And one of these bigger things is that, regardless of whether I'm fulfilling prophesies or running from them, I place judgments on it. I think to myself that if I died without accepting and loving these last few things I can't seem to get past, I will have never lived.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

4/23/12—Being the Ripple

Today's Draw Classic*: Kizzie, my handsome boy. Do you know how significant your power is in the world? Do you realize that each and every day you make an impact on the overall vibration of humanity? How will you use your power today?

As many of you read last week, my brother was very ill. He passed into spirit this past weekend. I didn't have the time or energy tonight to do an entirely new entry, but I thought about an entry that I posted a couple of months ago and decided to use it as a basis for this entry....

The other day I saw something I've seen a million times. Only this time, I saw it in a completely different way. My dogs and I took a trip to the park and my boy, Kizzie, decided to go in the river for a dip (nevermind that it's the middle of winter). Anyway, as I saw him standing there, I noticed all the ripples issuing out with him at the center. Each time he moved, a new set of ripples would form. And the ripple effect of each motion would continue out into the river, despite the current. Despite anything. Indefinitely.

His presence was recorded throughout the river that day—through the ripples in the water, the displacement of the air around his ripples, by his ripples meeting the shore and bouncing back. In the same way, his presence was recorded throughout the universe.

Beyond that, on land, the wag of his tail, his body temperature and the sound of his breath had a similar effect in the environment around him, sending forth kinetic, sonic and heat waves from his body.

According to Wikipedia, a wave is a "disturbance (an oscillation) that travels through space and time, accompanied by the transfer of energy." Einstein's famous equation, E=MC2, posits that everything in the universe is energy. So what we see in the water above is Kizzie's energetic body having an effect on the water's energetic body. And since energy is never created or destroyed—only transferred—the effect he has is eternal. Pervasive. Ubiquitous.

Our lives work the same way. My brother had four children, so clearly his impact will be felt by generations and generations. But even if he never had a child, the same would be true. 

Imagine the kind of ripple effect even something as simple as a smile can create. You smile at someone and cause them them to smile and feel a little more part of this world. That changes them, even if ever so slightly in that moment, and that change is passed on to the others they encounter that day. The vibration they spread is just a smidge higher than it would have been. And the people they encounter are similarly raised. And so on. And so on. And it ripples around the world, back past the original smiler, indefinitely. 

Of course the same is true about being a grumpy gus.

But the point I'm making is that no matter how "small and insignificant" we are, the impact of our every breath and thought echoes out into the universe to create the "whole". And that impact continues long after our death. We're still benefiting from the simple work of the men who built the railroads, women who showed their independence and the early men and women who moved out of caves and built humanity's first communities. We're also still affected by the ripple created by those who never spoke up against Hitler, spread the belief that the earth was flat and sailed to Africa to grab people and make them slaves in the New World. 

All of those people were everyday people, motivated by the same things that motivate people today and cause them to make good, bad, normal, misinformed and inspired choices today. For better or for worse, each of those people and their collective groups are still making a difference today. As will your choices to recycle, use gasoline, eat meat or make myriad other choices that we can and cannot have the foresight to see the impact of in any given moment. 

The beautiful thing about this is that, regardless of what you believe about God and heaven, we live on in this very real way for eternity. We matter. No matter how normal and mundane our contributions. Do you think those railroad men, like my grandfather, felt like the kings of transportation, trade, information sharing, development and connection that they were? 

There is a reason for you being here. There was a reason my brother was here. And, even in his moment of death, he sent a ripple out that would change the way many people would consider their lives, even for a moment. There is nothing we do, nothing we are, that doesn't have this import in the lives around us and the lives around all those people, etc. 

You are the ripple. Everything you say and do today will be forever felt by the universe. How will you use your infinite power today?

*Today's entry was significantly adapted from 2/17/12's entry.