Friday, June 1, 2012

6/2/12-6/3/12—Becoming a Guiding Light

Weekend Reading: The Hermit from the World Spirit Tarot. Pay attention to dreams, visions, "coincidences" and the voices in your head this weekend (assuming you're sane). They could contain valuable spiritual insights to guide you further along your path. The Hermit is a seeker of wisdom and truth and often that wisdom is found in the quiet places within. So make time for reflection over the next couple of days, too. Keep in mind that anything that comes to light could be valuable to someone else, so share the wisdom within and become a guiding light for others.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

6/1/12—Putting Your Mind to Rest

Today's Draw: Four of Swords—Stabilizing Mind—from the Tarot of Transformation. Is your mind playing the same story over and over like a broken record? Do you feel overwhelmed by a cacophony of thoughts, unable to tie them all together? Do you need Calgon to take you away?

This is one of my favorite decks. The artwork is so beautiful. This is the deck I was talking recently about in the entry about Passion the dog and her messages from the other side.

The woman in the image is trying to find her center in the midst of a swirl of emotions and distractions. That's how I feel in the wake of my brother's death and Kizzie's ongoing recovery as well as in the midst of some changes I've been making. In one sense I feel like I'm there and my focused has returned. But I'm not quite stable in light of some personal health changes I've taken on this week. And part of those health changes rely heavily on maintaining a stable mind. It's a Catch 22...I need to be stable to make the changes, but change makes you unstable...haha. 

This card indicates that it's time for a mental retreat. And it relates to some of the stuff we've been talking about this week. Meditation is a good skill to use when examining the things that pollute your spirit. Meditation helps you examine issues as a witness to the situations, thoughts and relationships that drag you down, rather than as a participant in them. From this detached state, you're better able to see how these dynamics work. 

Another way to find focus is to completely remove yourself from the mental chaos, then return to it with a fresh mind and perspective. Remember the fish and their message of adventure and play? That's how you can do that. 

The one thing that doesn't help you find focus is getting stuck in an endless loop of obsessive thought. In one way or another, you have to break out of the story. You may be surprised at what you find.

We can't always break away the way we'd like and plan a whole weekend  or mini vacation around mental rest and retreat. I know summer is always a bad time for that for me because work is usually busy. So I tend to take my days when work hands me a day off, rather than go through all the effort of scheduling a day off. Usually when I tell clients I'm going to be gone for a day or two, they load me down with work before I leave. So sneaking away is more "restful". :) 

It also helps for me to schedule evening out, a surprise afternoon of shopping or anything else that shakes up the routine and gets me out of the normal rut. I do, however, have one day a month that's a sacred day off, and another late afternoon that's also sacred. Those are my energy healing sessions I've spoken about from time to time. 

Anyway, if you have a hard time breaking away, schedule in a mini-retreat, and treat it like a real appointment. And use your surprise moments of rest to focus your mind through meditation, rather than get caught up in the mental chaos. I mean, how many times can you think about the same thing without going crazy?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5/31/12—Complaining, Whether You Like It Or Not

Today's Draw: The Emperor from the Ferret Tarot. Are you tired of hearing everyone else complain while you've got plenty to complain about? Are you miffed that everyone else thinks they've got it so bad? How come some people get to complain and others don't?

So I mentioned yesterday that I received TWO decks yesterday, each in a beautiful homemade bag. This is the second. The Ferret Tarot. This is a simply drawn, simply produced deck—don't go looking for no glossy stock or rounded corners or fancy colors like blue and red. But if you want to go out looking for some whimsy and squee, you won't be disappointed. 

Take, for example, our Emperor. It seems the little ones have been traumatized and they've come to daddy for protection. Daddy has his hands full. 

OK. This is not going to make me popular, but it reminds me of being a single person. Yeah, I know. Married people have it bad. Married with kids people have it worse. The single parent is the most put upon creature in the world. We know. We know. It's all over the news. It's depicted 24/7 on Lifetime. It's the topic of nearly every situation comedy and drama out there. While all the depictions of single people have them spending money on fancy shoes, eating out every day of the week and clubbing on weekends. Which start on Thursdays and end on Tuesdays. I know. We've got it so good. 

Ferrets laugh in the face of temperance.
But I'm here to tell you it's not the glitz and glam you think it is. I live in a house with a yard just like you. But I'm the sole breadwinner. The sole lawn mower. The sole gardener. The sole housekeeper, cook, shopper, car inspector, blah da blee, blah da blah. Ain't nobody helping me. And while some things are multiplied in your home, like the laundry, your yard, your house and your garden are the same size as mine. We make the same number of trips to the grocery store, post office, drug store, etc. 

On top of all of that, I run my own business where I'm the sole work getter and work doer. In a tight economy. So while you're *feeling* like all the responsibility and worry in your household falls on your shoulders, consider there are those out there whose shoulders ALL the responsibility and worry *actually* falls on. For real. Every day. With no end in sight.

Da Vinci left off the tail in earlier versions.
I hear you complain about your do-nothing spouse, but he's taking out the trash, isn't he? He's bringing in a paycheck. Guess who does that stuff at my house? And while you're talking about how messy your kids are, I know you're also putting them to work as indentured servants just like my parents did. They're out there clearing the grass out of the cracks in the driveway. Guess who does that for me? And while you're talking about your bad day with your husband, I'm watching yet another Lifetime movie and pretending to cry about a single mother who fell in love with a man she didn't know was an ex-con until he kidnapped her and her kids by knife point, when I'm really crying about myself. While eating a bowl of ice cream.

Yeah, yeah. It's my choice. I get that. But nobody forced you to have kids and get married. You made the choice, too. Therefore you're no more entitled to complain about your choices than me. Truth is, we all have it hard. You try navigating the myriad responsibilities, requirements and decisions of life without someone else there to help shoulder the burden.

Minors are fully illustrated. And hydrated.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for pity. Hell, I love my life. I wouldn't have it any other way. I have two dogs who shower me with love and attention. I get to eat whatever I want for dinner. I don't answer to anyone. My house is always peaceful and quiet. And if I don't feel like cleaning something up, it can just sit there until I do. I've never wanted the kids and husband anyway, so it's not like I'm jealous or anything. 

Likewise, I'm sure you love your life and also wouldn't have it any other way. But sometimes my life really sucks. Just like your life does. The only difference is you get to say it and if a single person does more than think it, society rolls its eyes. 

So there. I put it out there. It's about time all the non-singles heard it! Now excuse me. I have something important to do.  

*clicking on my TV remote that I have complete control over and perusing the many options on all the Lifetime channels tonight*

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5/30/12—Creating an Adventure

Today's Draw: 34—Fish from the Dust Bunny Lenormand by Marcia McCord. When was the last time you had a little adventure? How long has it been since you've done something just to make yourself laugh? Is it about time for you to step into a silly story of your own making?

In a moment of fevered excitement, I went out to my mailbox today to discover not one, but two wonderful decks of cards that I had all but forgotten I'd ordered. As I peeled open each carefully sealed and taped bubble envelope, I found that each deck came in a wonderful handmade pouch. I wanted to use both of them today, but I could not. So I chose the one that came in the orange and pink pouch. Now I know why the deck's creator asked me for my favorite color!

A Lenormand deck is an oracle deck with 36 cards. It is named after an 18th century psychic, Mlle. Lenormand, who created her own divination system. There are certainly scores, if not hundreds, of reinterpretations of her original deck, none varying significantly from her design. Artistic style and details might be different, but all #1s will depict a rider on horseback, signifying news or a visitor. All #18s will depict a dog and signify faith or loyalty. And so on. I don't really know a lot about these decks, but I know they're hot right now. So Marcia's Deck comes out at the right time.

Photo of additional cards shamelessly stolen
(with permission) from Nefer Khepri.
So, anyway I didn't like the card I chose for tonight from the deck. So in a rare break in protocol, I decided to choose the card that amused me the most. And it's definitely these two smartly dressed fish. These dapper companions are all dressed up for an adventure. And that's what the card means...adventure, independence, luxury and good fortune. 

I've gone through phases in my life where I can turn anything into an adventure. Certainly I've managed to turn my boring-ass life into two year's worth of stories on this blog...haha. But adventures...adventures are beyond stories! They require transforming the most mundane actions—brushing your teeth, for example—into an epic experience that draws upon the whole range of human emotion and leaves you and everything within your sphere forever changed.

Yeah, OK. An adventure's a lot like a story. Or like injecting a little extra drama into something boring and rather ordinary. And I consider it one of my finest hobbies. :D

So without knowing what these two fish meant, I consciously chose them from the deck because they embody that very spirit. I mean, this is no ordinary picture of two fish out for a walk on a sunny day. Any fish can do that! These guys are doing it wearing hats! To keep their scalps from being burned! One of them dons his finest vest, accompanied by a cane and fanny pack. Clearly these two have many miles to cover and will need cash along the way. He might even have a tissue or a breath mint in there. One must always be prepared.

I imagine they're going out for an afternoon meal. Perhaps some Indian food...a nice mango chutney deftly spread on a papadum, washed back with a spot of tea. They'll speak of the weather and politics and of dreams yet to come. And, for a brief afternoon, they'll forget about worm clad hooks, sharks and the recent shortage of insects and krill. 

That's what stories and adventure can do for us—take us out of ourselves for the moment and sort of reset our buttons. You could pretend that no one at the grocery store knows you're an alien on a mission to appear human. You could sit at the park and watch the critters like you're watching a soap opera, making up the storyline as you go. You could ride your bicycle pretending you're that Toto hating lady in the Wizard of Oz. Ride the elevator backward. Fart on your way out of the subway. Whistle at a man on the street. At the very least it will leave you laughing for hours.

I feel like it's been a long time since I've just had immature, frivolous, silly, spontaneous fun with myself. Because I'm a dramatic person to begin with, that's saying a lot. It's not about doing it with or for anyone. It doesn't have to be elaborate. It's just about making me laugh and turning something mundane into something I'll savor. It's about breaking out of the track we roll on the other 364 days, 23 hours and 45 minutes of the year.

So are you game? If you move forward with the intent, I'll bet an opportunity and idea will present itself. You just have to break out of yourself and not worry how you'll look or what others will think, if they even notice. You ready for some fun?

Monday, May 28, 2012

5/29/12—Depolluting the Spring

Today's Draw: Ace of Water—Spring—from Waking the Wild Spirit by Poppy Palin. What's dragging you down? What steps can you take today to move toward change? How is the health of your aquifer?

The spring is the origin, the place the water comes from to make a stream, then a river, then an ocean. It is the source. For those who drink from it, it is a source of healing and purification. You are drinking of the earth, a water fed by earth and filtered by earth. The whole of the universe exists within each tiny drop.

Each of us holds within it a similar source. But everything from the people around us and the quality of our lives to our own actions and habits can either add to the purity and nutrition of the spring or deplete it. The myriad little choices we make on a daily basis form the bedrock that filters our essence from its pure and godlike state and determines the way it manifests itself in the world and flows out to ocean of the mass consciousness. And since what you put out there determines what you get back, the quality at its origin affects the quality of its return.

We focus a lot on the importance of eating healthy for our overall well-being, and that is, of course, extremely important. But so is relating healthy. And thinking healthy. And making healthy choices. And keeping your energy core healthy. And exercising healthy. Etc and so on.

If I look back on my life, there were certainly healthier times. There were also unhealthier times. But I will say the past year or so has been especially depleting. I took on a lot last summer with reading professionally and working and writing a book. Then I replaced the professional reading part with teaching. Then this past spring I've had personal difficulties with my dog's surgery and my brother's illness and eventual passing. All the while, I've been enjoying a steady stream of work from clients old and new, requiring me to focus on practical matters when I needed to focus on personal ones.

And as I kept being depleted, I realized there weren't adequate or healthy ways for me to feed the spring. There's clutter in my house that's sucking me of my energy. My poor eating and lack of exercise keep me depleted. There are obligations—most of which are self-imposed—that keep sucking away at me. I have a habit of feeding relationships that do not feed me in return. And I never seem to take the vacation time I need to replenish...and between packing and unpacking, hauling the dogs and whatnot, the time I do manage to take, takes a lot of energy. 

So for the past week or so, I've been making a point of going back to the source to examine the health of my aquifer. And I'm kind of excited and energized about some of the choices I've made. There are also some I'm less excited about, but I know they're good for me, so I'm going to do them anyway. 

I've gotten sufficient rest, which is key. I signed up for a class that is totally without purpose, except to make me smile. I've divested myself of some of the clutter that sucks my energy. And, though I'd love to sit around and eat candy for the rest of my life, I've recommitted to low glycemic eating and the nutritionist that got me off carbs the last time. Trust me, that last choice was the hardest of them all! :D

Thing is, most of the decisions I've made were long overdue. And having them hanging over my head just added to the energy drain. Ultimately the very things that were depleting me were what inspired a new determination in me that I wasn't able to muster before. Of course it's just a week...haha. But some of the changes I've made require me to continue the momentum. 

And here's the interesting thing...none of the changes I've made really took a whole lot of energy. An phone call here, a promise to myself there...bada bing, bada boom and crap that had been dogging me for forever was not just a part of my past, but I was already finding new things to fuel me. When I look back on the past week or so, I'm amazed at how much progress I've made with such little effort. We think it's going to take so much to get us moving in the right direction, but it really takes very little. And we don't have to wait for a Monday or a certain birthday or time of the year to do it. We can start now. 

So what's affecting the health and nourishment of your spring? What small change can you make to make it better? Sometimes just doing something goofy can take you out of yourself long enough to feel whole and alive again and get the snowball rolling. So don't overlook things that don't immediately appear goal related. Anything that fuels you is on point. So with the whole world as your oyster, what small change can you make today? And what are you waiting for?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

5/28/12—Allowing What Is

Today's Draw: Three of Swords from the Maat Tarot by Julie Cuccia-Watts. Has someone broken your heart? What did you do? And are you willing to see it through different eyes?

Nothing makes a Monday happier than a dove pierced through the heart by three swords. And if you look closely at the swords, each bears the symbol of a different major religion. I grabbed the photo of the card from the Inner Whispers blog and really enjoyed her interpretation

"The message seems to be that religious ideas can sometimes kill peace and cause heartache.  Given the number of religious wars there have been, the idea of losing family to violent conflict still underlies this image.  There is also the aspect that, when religious ideas separate people, it can destroy families in a more subtle way, too.  This is a reminder that we can lose people in many ways.  For example, what of the person who comes back from a war or other traumatic situation a changed person?  Oftentimes people say they feel that their loved one never really came back, even when they are physically there.  So, losing someone to war, to religion, them no longer being there, or being there physically and yet not really present, or unwilling to connect because of differences in belief.  Heartache indeed!"

Traditionally we think of this card as a broken heart. Someone has hurts us and our heart bleeds, usually in a romantic situation. But as Inner Whispers says above, it doesn't have to be romantic. The person doesn't even have to mean to hurt us. In fact, it doesn't even have to be a person. It can be the spoils of fate that set the pain flowing. 

Further the heartbreak can be ourselves breaking our own heart. Make each sword symbolize body, mind and soul and you can see how, when the three are not in agreement/alignment, it can kill your own peace...break your own heart. Which dovetails (haha...get it? Dove? Dovetails?) nicely with Julie Cuccia-Watts' interpretation. 

In the book that comes with this deck, Cuccia-Watts observes the scientific principle that energy is never lost or destroyed, it just changes form. So love is never lost, it just becomes something else. And, if you think logically, the love you had before still remains. And now you have something different to add to it. But what was love before, was still love. Because of this, she posits that heartbreak isn't so much about what you've lost, because you haven't lost anything. Heartbreak is really just the pain that comes from losing control. 

Think about it for a second. Isn't that the cause of most of the pain we have in life? Lack of control...and the desire to have it? Lack of control in and of itself doesn't cause pain. It's when you fight against the lack of control that you experience pain. Anytime we try to swim against the stream of "what is", we experience pain. Sadness may be a byproduct of being human, but intense pain, sorrow, heartbreak...all of those can be avoided.

Wars happen because we're fighting against the fact not everyone thinks or feels as we do. Heartbreak happens when we fight against the fact that a relationship has changed. Sorrow occurs when we lose something we're not ready to accept the loss of. Ultimately, it's never someone else who is causing the pain in our lives. It's all on us, refusing to accept "what is"...what has changed. It comes from fighting against the flow. 

Last week we talked about putting on armor to protect ourselves from being hurt. It's ironic that the only impermeable armor there is, is not in holding others at arm's length to keep them from hurting us. It's actually in letting them in and letting whatever will be, be.