Friday, June 8, 2012

6/9/12-6/10/12—Nourishing the Well Within

Weekend Reading: Lake from the Mother's Wisdom Deck by Niki Dewart, Elizabeth Marglin and Jenny Kostecki-Shaw. The quote in the companion book reads, "Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm." And that's the balance you should seek this weekend. Key to finding that balance is having a place where you can go to recharge and retreat. If you don't have a body of water you can go to, treat yourself to a nice bath. Or a dip in the pool. Or just hide in a quiet corner somewhere and drink a glass of water...haha. But give yourself the chance to recharge your batteries this weekend. And if you're too busy taking care of others to take care of yourself, stop the madness! You can't give from an empty well. Love your friends and family enough to give from a healthy, well-nourished and fully recharged place of peace. When you're giving your last drops, you're not giving your best.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

6/8/12—Escaping Fear

Today's Draw: The Eight of Swords from the Zombie Tarot by Paul Kepple, Ralph Geroni and Stacey Graham. If you want change and haven't gotten it, why do you think that is? Do you feel imprisoned or held back by something? Are you wondering how to break the chains that hold you back?

First things first. HOORAY! I got my Zombie Tarot!!!! Woo hoo! Woo hoo!


Now on to more serious matters. Since I've already decided to talk about manifestation this week, I'm going to read this card in relation to that. The Eight of Swords is about fears, limitations, toxicity and paralysis. It's about that moment or phase where you want to move forward but you just can't. And even though nobody likes this word, if you're in this phase, you're indulging a victim mentality. 

Walk into the, unknown.
Anytime you have excuses for why you can't move forward that's what you're doing. Because you can always move forward. It doesn't have to wait until your children are grown or until you get a promotion or until the weather is better. The prison that binds you is usually in your head. And of your own making. And a lot less inescapable than you make it out to be. 

Like we talked about yesterday, you just need to think a new thought. Or at least be honest about it. Instead of "I can't do XYZ until I have more money in the bank", why not just tell it like it is? "I can't do XYZ because I'm afraid I'll fail." Or, "I'm afraid of what will happen if I succeed." 

Hold your head up high and move forward with your life!

As long as you keep pointing to reasons outside of yourself—your kids, job, financial situation, spouse, etc.—you're powerless. You're a victim. And, conveniently, you don't have to change. But when you see the prison exists within your head—that it's a fear—then you not only have to claim responsibility for your inaction, but you also have to claim your power over it. And once you claim your power over it, change will come. All it takes is one step.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

6/7/12—Leaving Bag End

Today's Draw: The Fool from the Hobbit Tarot. Are you ready for a sudden change? What is holding you back from creating something new in your life? And when you truly examine your answer to that, is it even a valid excuse?

Have you ever been suddenly struck with a motivation to change? One day you're your normal self and the next day you're headed in a direction that never really occurred to you before? I have. In one way or another I feel like I've done it many times. 

My most notable example is probably becoming a self-employed writer. I had always worked for others before. I had never really considered being a freelancer before. But within three weeks of having that thought for the first time, I was one. And that includes the research I put in and my two weeks notice. Once I had the actual thought, it was pretty much immediate that I knew I was going to do it. And it's not like that's a small change, either. I had nothing really to fall back on. It was succeed or die. But something in me knew I'd succeed.

Bilbo Baggins is in the same situation in the Hobbit. One day he's happy living in Bag End and the next he leaves on an adventure he could have never imagined the day before. It's not like he doesn't have his doubts. But he does it anyway. It's as if he can't NOT do it. Something within him tells him it's the right thing to do. And as his journey progresses, he finds that life was preparing him for this all along. 

Sometimes life hands us these sudden happenings. But it's important to note that we can make these sudden changes for ourselves. Life hands us that opportunity once a second for every minute of the day. 

We've talked a bit about manifestation this week and one of the keys to that is watching our thoughts and words. Everything from self berating words to negative thoughts can get in between us and the things we want. 

One of the neat tricks I've learned to combat that is from a spiritual teacher named Iyanla Van Sant. She suggests you get in the habit of merely injecting "until today" into your thoughts. So "I suck at math" becomes, "Until today, I sucked at math." And "I feel like nobody loves me" becomes "until today, I felt like nobody loved me."

Each "today"...each minute...each second...brings the possibility for sudden change that can make those statements true. In fact, many of these statements are usually feelings based on our baggage and have no real basis in fact. Maybe you don't suck at math, you just suck at Geometry. And the feeling of being unloved is just a feeling. Like we talked about a couple of days ago just changing your thoughts can change your life. And "until today" is one of the tools you now have in your arsenal. 

Another tool is examining your excuses for why you can't change. Are they really valid? A lawyer who wants to become a landscape architect may say "I can't do that because I have children to support and I won't earn as much." First, some landscape architects do earn as much. And second, what are you teaching your children by staying in a job that doesn't fulfill you for the sake money? You could probably stand to downsize your life anyway. And you can't convincingly tell your children to pursue their passions in life if you don't have the balls to do it yourself. There's always another side to the argument. So look for that other side and see how valid your excuses are in that different light.

Until today, Bilbo was an ordinary hobbit, comfortable in Bag End, doing and thinking the same things, day after day. He could never be a hero because he was a little bumbling and, besides, he was past his prime. Then his excuses fell away, he had a new thought and a side of him that had gone underutilized all his life came to the fore. And he became a hero. His world became bigger. And his life became bigger. 

It all started by having a different thought. Then it took a leap of faith. Then it took on a life of its own. 

That's how change happens. One of the gifts of life is that there are no wrong turns. Everything path leads to a lesson. And every moment contains the potential for a new thought that can change things again. In this way, we live in an endless stream of magic and creation. What will that inspire in you?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

6/6/12—Dreaming a Bigger Dream

Today's Draw Classic*: The Queen of Wands from the Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy. How big is your dream for yourself? How much do you believe in yourself on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being not at all? What would it take for you to dream bigger and believe harder?

Her name is Queen Zest and she feeds her garden with love and the warmth of her spirit. If you listen closely, you may hear her whisper in your ear, "believe in yourself". 

Such a simple request, but so hard to do. We're such complicated creatures made up of fears and baggage, all pointing us toward self doubt. But if you look at it from a different perspective, you'll see a lifetime of right turns and successes. Sometimes we're so focused on what we don't have, that we neglect to see all we do have. 

The way I see it, we're all divine beings. That includes your grumpy boss, prisoners in jail and yes, even you. We were all borne from the higher consciousness and all of us have taken on different agendas in our lives. I don't know why some people have to struggle to find a job in this economy or why my brother's children have to grow up without him. I don't know why some mean people seem to skate through life and why some nice ones keep getting bad breaks. 

But I'm certain of two things—one is that you're a child of God or the universe or whatever you believe in. And the other is that whatever you're going through is absolutely necessary to your mission here on earth. You haven't made any mistakes or wrong turns. And you are infinitely capable of rising above whatever it is that is holding you down. All you have to do is accept and believe in your divine legacy. 

Now, for the doubters out there, I'm not telling a quadriplegic they can become a professional football star. What I'm saying instead is that they can rise above their limitations and achieve great things. The internet is littered with stories of people who are bigger than their limitations. And they got that way by refusing to believe their challenges defined them or limited them. You and I don't have such dramatic roadblocks to overcome. So what's our excuse?

I recently spent some time with a friend who is a medium and he contacted my parents. My mother communicated to me that I was bigger than my current ambitions. I wouldn't normally see myself as someone who doubts my abilities, but I see now where she was right. The universe's dream for me is bigger than the dream I have for myself. And the same is true for all of you.

This is a key principle that I also teach in manifestation classes. And since you can still use tonight's moons (though it just started waning) to manifest change in your life, I'll share this with you. Often when we pray for something or try to manifest something, we'll get very specific....I want a red Mustang with a sunroof and black leather seats. So that's what you get. And maybe the sunroof tends to leak. Or it makes the car hot. And when the car is hot, the seats can scald your skin. Well, it's what you asked for, right?

But if, instead, you ask for a red sports car that you love to drive, how can that fail? And maybe you'll get something you like WAY more than a Mustang. The universe has a bigger dream for you than you have for yourself. It wants to deliver big, but our desire to micromanage stifles the effort. I always encourage people to ask for a feeling rather than a thing, because, in the end, it's the feeling we want, not the thing.

Consider this principle as you move through your day and see how much bigger you can make your dream—or how much more feelings based. Then believe in yourself and move toward it, knowing you're supported by a vast and loving universe.

*Today's post was adapted from, and expanded upon, one originally written last December.

Monday, June 4, 2012

6/5/12—Thinking a New Thought

Today's Draw: Two of Swords from Tarot of the Crone by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince. What thoughts are swirling around in your head right now? Are they productive and supportive? And if not, what other thoughts could you be thinking instead?

I'm really digging the description of this card from the book. She says that, while the Ace of Swords represents a state of being conscious, the Two of Swords is about the self-conscious. It's about the mind thinking about its own thoughts. 

I had never thought of it that way before...the mind thinking about its own thoughts. 

Anyway, reflecting on what the mind is thinking is what this card is about today. It indicates a time to rethink, analyze and confirm your thinking. Many times we don't even pay attention to our own thoughts as they barrel through our heads. 

Our own self reflection, or even reflection on other things, holds the purpose of deepening our understanding. This card suggests that changing the thought to something different can actually help us deepen our understanding more. So become aware of what you're thinking and consider how you can think something different.

For a good portion of my career it used to really rub up against my ego when clients would send something back because they didn't like the direction I had gone in. It's not something that happens terribly often, but it's inevitable in a creative career. You just can't please all the people all the time. While the first solution you presented may have worked well strategically and creatively, it didn't resonate with the client the same way. Or maybe, without knowing it, you inadvertently stumbled across some idea that's a no-no in their industry. There are many reasons why this would happen, most of which are not "we're sending it back because you suck."

Anyway, in my early years, I'd spend a lot of mental energy around "what I gave them before was brilliant and they just can't appreciate the wisdom of my genius!" Haha. But then I'd go back to the drawing board. Because I had to. And, without fail, the solution I would come up with in the second round would be, admittedly, a better answer than the original one. There was wisdom in their sending the idea back. So, I get it now. Most of the time I'll hit the nail on the head the first time. But when I don't, it gives me an opportunity to deepen my understanding of the client's business and needs. Either way, it's a good thing. 

In that case, thinking a new thought is probably why I'm still successful doing what I do today. The old thought is why people quit this business and move on. The old thought is what burns you out after 15 years. The old thought is what makes you bitter. And the new thought really made me better at what I provided a deeper understand of the value of rejected ideas.

Another aspect of "thinking a new thought" draws upon on the subject of manifestation from yesterday. Our thoughts shape our reality...or as Mike Dooley says, "thoughts become things". If you really listened to your thoughts, you'd probably be surprised at how often you think self-defeating thoughts..."I suck at this", "I'll never lose weight" or "nobody loves me" are just a few examples. We do this, then wonder why we never get better at such and such, why we never lose weight and why nobody ever loves us!

Our thoughts become our reality. So thinking about the thoughts we think is an important part of creating change in our lives. Until we change our thoughts, we can't manifest what we want outside of our heads. 

So what have you been thinking? And what else could you be thinking? It's worth a thought.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

6/4/12—Embracing Immortality

Today's Draw: Moonstone from the Aora Gemstone Oracle. Do you feel especially drawn to the moon? Have you ever called upon the power of the moon to manifest intentions in your life? And did you know that you could connect with the immortal you in the light of a full moon?

Ancient cultures believed that moonstone harvested the power of the moon. If you gaze into a moonstone, you'll see why. To begin with, it holds the color of the moon...a cool tone of bluish grayish white. But it also has what is called chatoyance which, when hit just right by light, makes the stone appear almost luminescent.

Like the moon, the moonstone represents the feminine or yin aspects within us. Those include intuition, healing and psychic ability. When used in healing, it directly, yet gently, illuminates the barriers between us and that which we desire. Its message is one of freedom and beauty.

This past Saturday night I led a full moon manifestation ceremony. New age belief has it that, when the moon is waxing, or coming into fullness, that's a good time to bring things into your life. And when the moon is waning, or going toward the new moon, that's a good time to release things from your life. The energies are most powerful in the couple of days leading up to and including the moon in question. 

Just as the moon governs the ebb and flow of the tides of great bodies of water, it also affects ebbs and flows within us. This is especially seen in women in regard to their periods, which generally mimic the same cycle as the moon. The moon doesn't preclude men at all, rather it speaks to their feminine aspects, just as the sun speaks to everyone's masculine aspects. But this innate feminine connection to the moon has been in effect throughout history. Just as most rulers of the sun were gods, not goddesses, in ancient cultures, most of the rulers of the moon were goddesses, as opposed to gods. 

So Saturday night, thirteen women gathered in a circle to call upon the moon's power to bring transformation into their lives. The butterfly in the card is indicative of that transformation...the shedding of the previous self, revealing the beauty, freedom and flight within. It wasn't planned that no men would be there. Plenty were invited. Nor was it planned to have thirteen women, which is significant in Wiccan ceremony. In fact, there were a couple of wiccans there...and Christians, and a Jewish lady, and some new agers and others I have no idea of. So it was just a really nice mix of serendipity and diversity and energy that you couldn't intentionally create if you wanted to. 

Just as the moon gently, yet directly, illuminates issues and brings them forth to be healed, this evening did that for some of the women there. It began with a class on manifestation and, through the course of inquiring why their efforts thus far hadn't worked, I think a number of women had lightbulb moments, guided by myself and a handful of wise healers that attended. Everyone was so genuine in their desire for change that at times it was very touching to hear the intentions they set during the ceremony.

I'm going on and on about this because it was a truly beautiful thing. We were connected not only with each other and the powerful energy we created as a group, but we were also connected to the universal mystery...the source of all creation. For some that source was called God or Jesus. For others, the Goddess or the Universe. We were all together in this, bound by the moon and its powerful gravity. And it drew us together in a moment of beauty, insight, healing, trust, creation and sisterhood that you always hope for in a situation like this, but that can never be planned or guaranteed. I don't have nights like that very often—I doubt many of us do—so it was a gift.

So Monday night brings the full moon. The book for this deck suggests placing a moonstone directly on your third eye in the light of the full moon to activate the "soma"...the spiritual molecule of immortality within. Soma is referred to as the nectar of the gods in many ancient religions and as ambrosia to the Greeks and Romans. Meditating with moonstone during the full moon can help you embrace your physical and spiritual immortality and the powerful gravitational connection between you and the all that is. 

One of the things I taught in the manifestation course was to make your intention official through ceremony and speaking your intention aloud. Aside from conjuring up your innate immortality, what will you call into being in the full moon's powerful light?